Family Bonding


It just takes something as simple as a board game

Sometimes it’s hard to find common ground with your kids. There’s an age gap and a separation of interests. Even when it comes to little kids it’s hard to predict what they will enjoy. But you know one thing is certain, you want to get them away from the video games and potential bad influences as much as possible. They need to enjoy some quality family time with the people that love them.

family eating at the table - Family BondingOf most importance is family dinner. If schedules permit, the family should eat together every night. Establish the routine as the norm and deviate from it rarely. Even if it’s not possible every night, treat it as something that should be done as often as possible.

Make a rule – no electronic devices at the dinner table. Try to have an uninterrupted thirty minutes in which to enjoy the meal and have a conversation together. There’s no need to push for something deep and meaningful, but this helps establish you as a constant supportive presence. Knowing this should encourage your children to come to you if there’s something troubling them.

playing catch - Family Bonding

Naturally a story like this relies upon general observations and we have to consider that that the participants will differ, whether it is the entire family interacting or a random combination of any number down to a pair. For instance, two may enjoy a ball catch. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a baseball, football, or a Frisbee. The bottom line is the action is a lot of fun, a great physical activity that promotes good health and is a great way to casually facilitate a discussion.

quality time - Family Bonding

In fact, it used to be that a father and son would be more likely to participate in sports related activities together. That’s not necessarily true anymore. Young women are just as inclined to be athletic these days. And on the other hand, a boy may be more drawn to participate in fashion design or the theater. If a son’s interests lean more towards mom’s area of expertise then there’s nice bit of bonding potential. If they are more to dad’s taste, then why not? Stereotyping is a thing of the past. Anything goes and that’s acceptable, lest you be an intolerant bigot. It’s all okay. The bottom line – the most important thing – is that a child be encouraged to be the best they can.

cards - Family BondingBut many parents find a challenge in just getting everyone together – mom, dad and the kids. Some may presume that engaging in card games with their children might be frowned upon as a gateway to gambling, but that is ridiculous. If you’ve never heard of the longtime childhood favorites, “Old Maid” or “Go Fish” look ‘em up. They’re guaranteed to be enjoyed. You can’t go wrong with family classics.

Before the days of video games and internet there was nothing like a family night with board games! If the children are really young, start with Chutes and Ladders! Or Candyland! Children ages seven or older are ready to graduate to the Game of Life. Here they’ll learn the general principles of growing into adulthood, and you are free to advise them. Monopoly is the obvious next step in the progression, with the all-important lesson of money management.

Having a little trouble rousting a kid from his disinterest? Look to the assortment of board games inspired by commercial properties, like Star Wars or Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. Heck Arianna Grande probably has her own board game – whatever it takes!

chess - Family BondingNearly anyone would agree it’s good to teach children chess at an early age. If they are able to grow with it, comprehend the complexities and begin to strategize theories, the more developed their reasoning skills will become. Have family tournaments and invite some friends!

Of course, it is perfectly acceptable for you to play video games with the kids. You love ‘em, they love ‘em, everybody loves ‘em. The only problem is being annihilated by the little buggers every time! It gets old after a while…

But hey, that’s the first step to appearing human to your kids. No one is invincible. The more they understand the fragility of life the more likely they’ll appreciate their family (hopefully).


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