With a new year looming, it’s a good time to look back at the twelve months that have passed and think about what you want to achieve in 2022. Some look at work, some look at fitness, but today we’re looking at family: what can you do to spend more quality time with your family, build your relationships and make memories that will last long after the 2020s.
Get Outside Together
Our brains respond dramatically to novelty: they love new things, and new places and new experiences create much stronger and more lasting memories. The implication is clear: to make long lasting happy memories with your family, get out there, see new things and explore!
One thing that can help is to structure your time a bit – make sure there are interesting discoveries and fun things to see and do. If you’re in the area, a Manchester treasure hunt can shed new light on the city and take you to unique and fascinating places. If you want to get into the countryside, research walking routes, footpaths and national trails. They often pass interesting places, from ancient burial sites to National Trust properties to wayside pubs for refreshments.
As well as stimulating the brain, getting out for a walk and explore together, whether it’s round your neighborhood, in a new city or in the countryside, it’s also good exercise and a natural limiter of screen time!
Set Time Aside
In a world with many pressures and responsibilities, be they house work, homework or professional work, and a multitude of different screens and devices that can keep everyone in their own private world, it can be hard to feel like you’re truly spending time with your family.
Try to schedule time that’s sacred – no devices, no other commitments, just time for parents and children to spend together. Trying to rigidly enforce a no device rule might be difficult and lead more to arguments than success. Rather than being didact, try to choose activities as a focus for this time that preclude the use of phones. Get the kids involved in the kitchen, or with board games that will keep them occupied and competing! If they’d accuse you of cheating for using your phone at the table then you know they’re hooked!
Let Your Children Be Your Guide
For family time to be freely given your children have to feel they have a stake in it – you can’t be the one telling them what to do all the time. Let them pick some activities, or even create a rota so everyone in the family gets a fair turn!