In today’s society, it is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. There can be so many “to-do’s” that distract us from being with each other and truly connecting. You may ask yourself, “How can I create connection? or “How can I fit connection time in my schedule?” Here are 5 practical ways to help strengthen relationships and build connections without surrendering your entire schedule!
Play a game: Playing a game with your family can look like many things. There are board games and interactive games, such as hide and seek and tag. Other options include using imagination to create a game and allowing creativity to come alive! Playing a game allows the family to do something together, laugh, and have fun. It can foster conversations that may have not been possible before and provides opportunities to learn and grow with each other.
Get Silly: Life can be so serious! Creating moments of silliness can ease tension and create opportunities to laugh. It can be as easy as telling a joke, making up a funny dance, pretending to be a character, and acting it out, or singing out loud without caring how you sound. It can be easy to tell a child to “knock it off” when they show silliness. Rather than “knocking it off,” find times to engage with them and make it fun!
Try Something New: As adults, it can be easy to stick to habits and schedules. However, trying new things with the family can bring spontaneity and fun. This can look like finding different parks or hangout spots, new restaurants, new hobbies, and/or crafts. Asking children for their ideas and finding a time to engage in that idea can boost affection and connection!
Special Play Time: A great way to help kids feel seen, known, and loved is special playtime. Special playtime is an intentional time for play. Pick a time each week for 30 minutes and connect with your child. During this time, ask about their week, their highs and lows of the week, and what they want to do. Enter into their world by joining them in what they love to do. Laugh with them, engage with them, and let them know you care! This creates connection and increases self-esteem!
Family Meal: Each week, set aside at least 1 day to eat together. Have the kids come up with ways they want to help or what they want to make. Play music or have conversations about the week. During dinner, focus on building positivity and connection. Ask questions, share funny stories, or pick out questions from a cup and ask family members!