This week focus on ways your family can connect with each other and with the community around you.
I have made many amazing connections in my life. I have had many interactions with family, school, church, work, and our local community. I have been blessed because of those connections. Your family can benefit so much by having these connections. I loving having the support, and life experiences of friends and family to rely on and especially their support and expertise in times of need. These connections will help your family feel safety and peace as more people can influence you for good.
Here are some things that have really helped us connect with each other.
- Put away or turn off distractions during family time.
- Find a common hobby or try something new.
- Eat dinner together.
- Weekly date night with spouse.
- One-on-one time with each kid.
- Exercise together-hike, bike, walk, ski, sports, whatever you like.
- Plan deliberate family time. We actually schedule an activity every Monday night and write it on the calendar. This week we went snowshoeing.
- Play games with your kids. We actually pulled out all of our games that we couldn’t remember playing and are slowly playing one at a time. Our kids love game time.
- Laugh and tell jokes to each other. We love puns.
- Snuggle, hug, or kiss goodnight.
- Make cookies together and share with a neighbor.
- Look for opportunities to serve each other or help with a chore.
Connecting with your community.
Get involved at your child’s school. Your kids will be more likely to adapt to school and have a positive experience. I volunteered in the elementary school every year. I also helped with field trips and class parties. My kids loved having me in the classroom or seeing me in the school. I better understood issues my kids were having at school and how to help them. You can also help in the PTA, Community Council, the school food pantry, in an after-school program, or a school club. Talk to your child’s teacher and let them know you’d like to help. Some years at the school I did a lot of copying but my favorite years were when I was able to work one-on-one with kids.
Get involved in your community. I was a cub-master. The scouts learn a lot about citizenship and helping in the community. Our family has a subscription to the newspaper and we like to discuss current events with our kids. You could get involved with the political scene-just find something you are passionate about and have the kids write to a legislator or even the president about the issue. You can connect with local organizations. My sister took cookies to the local Fire house and had a tour. You can leave a treat for your mail carrier or UPS driver. You can visit a senior center with your family. There are so many ways to connect with people in your community.
Look to make connections at church. Teachers, leaders, and peers can be such a great influence on your kids. Sometimes they can explain something or share a story that will really connect with your kids. It’s also great to share meaningful experiences with friends and families who share similar beliefs. My family has truly been blessed by the connections we have made at church over the years.
Look for connections in your neighborhood. We hosted a block party as a way to get to know our immediate neighbors. We have had several neighborhood Easter Egg Hunts! I love Springtime because people actually come out of their houses. (It’s been a long winter!) Make an effort to wave, smile, walk over and talk to your neighbors. Go for a walk and wave to those you see. You can adopt a grandparent nearby. We have such a sweet older lady around the corner that has adopted the neighborhood kids and they just love spending time with her. You can clean up your local park or look for other ways to serve in your neighborhood.
Reach out to extended family. Help family when you can and they in turn can be there to help you in times of need. Share your talents with them. I am great at organizing and cleaning so I have helped several extended family members with that lately. We try to visit both sets of grandparents every Sunday. This isn’t always convenient, but my kids have developed such amazing relationships with their grandparents. I have special memories of visiting my Grandma when I was little as well. Have your kids send thank-you, birthday cards, or whenever cards (we always have the kids make homemade ones). They can Skype or Face Time relatives or send them an email or text. Try to keep in contact with your extended family and be consistent. My in-laws are learning how to text so having the kids text them is a lot of fun. These are connections that will strengthen you family!
Connect with your ancestors! Use Family Search or Ancestry to find out more information about your ancestors. We love looking at old pictures and reading stories about their lives. You can learn a lot from their experiences and struggles and feel a connection to family that has passed on.
Hopefully in reading this, you have been inspired in some connection to focus on this week. Make the effort to focus on connections that will truly help you and your family. Help them expand their circle of influences. This will be a great benefit to your entire family!
Things that inspired me on this post…