Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something
that is beautiful,
or to discover something that is true.
Are you and your family feeling bored? Have you wondered how things got so far off track? Feel like your walking on a treadmill or in quicksand. Giving it a lot of effort, but not getting any results? You are not alone! In single parent families or families where both parents work, it becomes quite easy to find yourself in a rut when there seems to be so much to get done at work and at home.
Just as a flower needs water and sunlight, families also have requirements before they can really blossom. Here are some suggestions to get you and your crew revitalized.
1. Being fully present
Give your family your full attention when the time calls for it. Avoid watching TV, talking on your phone, or texting when you are supposed to be playing a game with your children. You and your children will both benefit when your entire focus is on them during an enjoyable pastime. It will also teach them valuable lessons in communicating with people.
2. Plan some fun activities
Try to do at least one fun activity every day. It is good for everyone in the house to have a few moments to relax and laugh. At least once a month, plan something a little bigger. Go someplace new for dinner or check out a new park. This can be very challenging, but try to do something that everyone will enjoy.
Another great idea for getting everyone involved is to let each person in the family have a turn planning the family outing. You can even put this on the “big” family calendar so that excitement builds as the day approaches. And this way, everyone is involved and feels like they contributed.
3. Invest yourself fully in your family
Everyone gives lip-service that family comes first, but how many of us actually live out our lives that way? Are you more concerned with work or your social life than about your family? Families, like every other team that you are a part of, require a true commitment to be at their best.
Neglect can take the wind out of anyone’s sails; children and spouses alike. Everyone is better when they know that they matter and that they are loved.
4. Plan for the future together.
Discuss what you’re planning for summer vacation or spring break. Talk about where you want to live and what you want your lives to be like. Children often feel like they are just being drug along for the ride. Include them in these discussions. Spouses feel best when they know there is a plan in place, and that they can contribute to it.
5. Up your conversation game, make it meaningful
Think back to when you were a child or a teenager. Did you feel like your family knew you well? Probably not. So it is not a giant leap to think that your children feel the same way. It may seem too formal to sit down across from each other and talk, so work conversations into other times together. Talk while having dinner or riding in the car.
There are plenty of opportunities for conversations if you simply make the conscious choice to take advantage of them. Remember your SO (significant other), too. People drift apart primarily because they don’t work to keep communicating meaningfully with one another.
It can be easy to fall into a family rut if you’re not regularly taking intentional steps to prevent it from occurring. Make plans to regularly spend quality time together. Fun activities and meaningful conversations are an easy way to start and can go a long way towards pulling everyone back together.
Decide to truly make your family a priority. Start with just a few of these suggestions and then move forward from there. Don’t try to add them all in at once. Everyone will benefit, and you can fall asleep each night with the comfort of knowing that you are a very important force in securing and maintaining the happiness of your family.