Setting resolutions together as a family is a great way to build a stronger bond and also gives you accountability partners to make sure you keep those resolutions! From building a stronger marriage to building stronger sibling bonds you are sure to find one or more New Year's Resolutions to make with your family this year.
11 New Year's Resolutions to Build a Stronger Family Bond
1. Establish a family game/movie night- Commit to one night a month (or one night a week), prepare special snacks, grab a game, or a movie or two. Enjoy time together, some laughs, and soak it up.
2. Commit to one technology free night– In this day and age this is a tough one, we are all attached to our phones computers, tablets, and video games. Set them all aside for a predetermined length of time- I recommend at least 3-4 hours, start with once a month and if you find it is doing amazing things for family time bump it up to weekly. Use this time to play board games, cook dinner together, play outside, make crafts, take walks, whatever your family enjoys. 150 Screen-Free Activities for Kids is a great book to give you some ideas!
3. Reduce screen time- If you have a high tech family that tends to be glued to their devices, try cutting back – at least an hour or so per day. Commit to setting them down at mealtimes and during family meetings. Our boys all got Kindle Fires for Christmas, so we used the time settings in FreeTime to only allow 2 hours of usage per day & they lock up an hour before bed time.
4. Volunteer together- Coming together to serve others can only strengthen your family bond, not only will you feel good about helping others as a team but you can't help become more grateful for what you have. Volunteering is also great for your kids, as it helps them develop a positive self-esteem, increases empathy, and children that volunteer have been shown to be less likely to become involved in high-risk behavior later.
5. Cook dinner together once a week– (and eat together) Simple meals where everyone can toss in a few ingredients or add to the dinner like a veggie soup, pizza, taco's, etc.. Setting the table, clearing, and doing dishes can all be part of the fun too. Eating as a family is so important to us that we don't do any outside activities that would interrupt meal time, especially when my husband is home from work.
6. Read together– If you are not already reading together consider making it a nightly ritual. A chapter or two from a classic, a comic, the newspaper, nursery rhymes – whatever your family enjoys. Taking turns reading out loud is great or pile everyone on the couch and let everyone enjoy their own selections.
7. Save money as a family– Whether it is for a family vacation, a night out at a family friendly restaurant, bikes for everyone, or a day trip. Set a goal for and work toward it together.
8. Commit to Date Night with your spouse– I know, this article is about strengthening your family bond and here I am telling you to plan a night away from your kids. Getting away from the craziness and business of family life and connecting with your spouse as your husband instead of viewing him as daddy will strengthen your marriage and in turn your family. Since my husband isn't home from work very often and many times he's only home for a few days, this was a hard one for us this year. Instead of taking a night away from the kids every time he's home, we've starting doing Skype dates after the kids are in bed a couple times a month and going out for date night every other time he's home.
9. Start one on one dates with your kids– If you have more than one child they would benefit and shine under some one on one time. Make up your mind to set aside time for each child to surprise them with a fishing trip, a dinner date, laser tag, hiking, bike ride, or let them choose something.
10. Establish family meetings- If your children are older (early elementary to high school) set up weekly or monthly family meetings where everyone is free to discuss issues, or share what is going on in there lives. You could also do “best & worst part of your day”. This is one of our children's favorite parts of the day. Once everyone is done eating, we go around the table saying the best part of our day and the worst part. Sometimes the kids really surprise us with their answers!
11. Get Active– Try a new sport or a half dozen this year, organized or just start your own quick game in the backyard. “The family that plays together, stays together” or so I have heard. Sign the kids up for organized sports like basketball, soccer, or cheerleading- mom and dad can even participate by joining a co-ed softaball team. Joining together each week to cheer one another on, learn good sportsmanship, and get healthy is a great way to bond. Due to our “no missing dinner” rule, most organized sports don't work for our family, so we elect to get out into nature together and hike during the warmer months!
What are some of your favorite ways to strengthen your family bond? Leave a comment below!