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Pick an Evening and Bond With Your Kids

by Tania Cowling | October 8th, 2014 | Elementary, Social

file0001916620806In the past, a family night was a time to share a special meal together, play board games, or just sit around the living room and share each others company. They were one of the best ways for families to bond. Unfortunately, in this hustle-bustle world we live in, some families do not share meals, kids are in and out for their own events or confined to computer games, and parents are busy with bills, chores and errands. What happened? I say, let’s reclaim family night and say NO to intrusions or exceptions. You’ll see how a family night’s ritual will give the kids a feeling of security, self-esteem and self-confidence because the kids will feel that they belong to a special group: the family. Set up your own family night and try some of these ideas.

Start With a Special Meal

Teach your kids to appreciate a formal meal once in a while. Take cooking up a notch with something a little more elegant than the weekday’s fare. If you have a dining room, use it. Even the kitchen can be turned into an elegant dinner with tablecloths, candlelight and some classical music. I know the kids are probably saying “Oh yuck” by this time, but trust me, they will learn to enjoy this change of pace.

For a variation, eat breakfast for dinner on family night. There is something deliciously cool about bringing out the waffle machine and maple syrup, not to mention it’s somewhat easier than a making a gourmet meal. Set out some fruit toppings, chopped nuts and coconut to add on top.

Tell Tales Together

Whether you are recapping the week or inventing a new story, use this time to talk. Kids are usually willing to offer events that happened to them that may have been lost in the everyday chaos. Parents can even talk about their work and new projects they may be working on. On a more creative note, try weaving stories. One person starts by describing a setting, then go along from person to person adding in characters and events. You can finish the story now or get to a cliffhanger, stop and continue the next family night with another member picking up the thread.

Pick a Puzzle

I must say my husband and kids are puzzle maniacs. I like to buy the largest jigsaw puzzle I can find; set up the folding table in the family room and let them bond together. They start with the borders, challenging each other on who could find the corner pieces. Of course, the puzzle isn’t completed in one night, but the kids are anxious until the next family night to work on their project together.

Any Card Sharks in Your Family?

Whatever age your kids are, there is a card game that’s age appropriate. Pick up a book like, 101 Best Family Card Games by Alfred Sheinwold or Card Games for Dummies by Barry Rigal, and learn some fun games to play on family night. From the traditional, “Go Fish” to playing poker with the teens (using M & M’s as betting money), there is card fun for everyone.

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