Summertime has barely begun and I’m quickly noticing that our family is going in a million different directions. Between basketball practice, summer camps, social events, church commitments, and weekly meetings, the four of us are spending less time together and more time apart.
The school year always consumes hours of hustling and bustling but I envisioned summertime to be much different. I pictured lazy days around the house. Long dinners and fun outings. Movie nights and relaxing at our community pool. But, what I envisioned and what has become reality are two completely different scenarios.
Maybe you’re feeling the same way about your family? Are you encountering a hectic schedule of activities and constant pandemonium? Are you experiencing less of those pause-and-smell-the-roses moments and more of the hurry-up-we-gotta-go situations?
I don’t know about you but I want my family to spend time together. Lately, it seems like we’ve been running here, there, and everywhere. Our time together is so priceless and those moments seldom “just happen”. Oftentimes they need to be planned. Don’t you think so?
That’s why I thought it would be fun to do a blog series this week talking about The Five Keys To Family Bonding.
Each day I’ll post a different key that will unlock the secrets to connecting with family members and creating unity within the walls of our homes. These secrets have tested true over the years and every time I find our family dynamics being pulled out of balance, by this crazy world, I do a quick heart-check to see which keys are not in place.
Key #1 – Conversation Igniters
What are conversation Igniters? Well, it’s setting aside a designated for our family to sit together and simply talk. Now I know what you’re thinking and yes this is a basic concept but let’s be honest. How many of us actually do it? We read articles about it, hear sermons on it, think about it, BUT, do we honestly sit down with our families 3-4 times a week to just talk and be together?
Here are some suggestions that will help engage your kids and make it a fun experience for them (and for your spouse too).
- Keep it Casual ~ Pick a relaxed setting or a place where you kids enjoy hanging out. Examples: Living Room, Game Room, Backyard, Front Porch
- Keep it Fun ~ Eating popcorn, ice cream, or cookies & milk will win over big time with your kids. It will also keep them engaged longer.
- Keep it Light ~ Don’t use this time to discipline your children. Intentionally ask questions that create conversation and not just “yes” or “no” answers.
- Keep it Short ~ Start with 15 minutes and build from there. Over time your kids will linger longer and the conversations will grow in length.
I hope these ideas are helpful. Feel free to create your own and add to the list as your family starts implementing Conversation Igniters this week. Tomorrow, I’ll post Key #2 so be sure to stop by again for more helpful tips.
In the meantime, I’d love for you to leave a comment sharing your own ideas about Conversation Igniters and see if we can add to the list above. If you like this post, how about sharing it with a friend on Facebook or Twitter? Maybe they can join us right back here tomorrow! See you then…