With busy work and school schedules, it may seem like there is little time for family interaction. According to FamilyFacts.org, teens who spend time with their families have a closer emotional bond to their parents and are less likely to get into trouble. To make sure you are getting enough quality interaction with your children, schedule family time as often as possible to build a strong family connection.
Sports and Hobbies
Enjoy a family outing to events that both kids and parents enjoy, such as concerts, movies or sporting events. Support your teenager who plays a sport or participates in another school activity and attend games or competitions to cheer him on. Plan activities that incorporate your teenager’s interests. As a family, you can participate in arts and crafts activities, bake cookies, watch sporting events on television or choose another activity that your teen enjoys. Take a walk in nature or a bike ride around the neighborhood to spend time together outdoors.
Make meal time a regular family activity in your home. Use this time as an opportunity to find out what is happening in your teenager’s and other family members' lives. Ask open-ended questions, such as “What is the best thing that happened to you today?” or “What is the most challenging thing that happened today and how did you deal with it?” Spend 15 minutes together in the morning for breakfast before everyone heads out the door. During the weekends, plan a picnic to enjoy lunchtime together. Instead of sitting in front of the television or eating separate meals, eat dinner together as often as possible. Sit around the table, turn off phones and enjoy each others' company.
Plan a family vacation during the summer, school breaks or even a weekend trip. Whether it’s an overnight camping adventure or a long overseas vacation, traveling is an excellent way to spend time together as a family. Vacations give families time away from hectic schedules to enjoy laughing, playing and having a good time. Discover new interests, learn new skills together and strengthen family relationships by planning a trip that everyone can enjoy.
Plan family nights at home with your kids. Turn off all cell phones and laptops so there are not any distractions. Enjoy a movie or catch up on your favorite television series. Board games and card games are other activities that all family members can enjoy. Ask your teenager for input on family night ideas. If your teen is interested in what you are watching or doing, he is more likely to actively participate.
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