Family Togetherness: 3 Ways to Bring Your Family Closer Together
I tend to avoid making "resolutions" at the start of every new year. Instead, I choose one word that will have meaning for me throughout the year. During 2011, the word has been "ENGAGE." I chose this word to remind myself that it's okay to step out of my comfort zone and engage with people I might not normally have engaged, to overcome the fear that I have nothing to offer another person, especially when I perceive that person is successful in some way. Also, it reminded me to be more present with my children.
I've decided to do more than just this in 2012. In addition to my "as-yet-unannounced" keyword for 2012, I've compiled three ways that I want to begin the new year with my family.
3 Ways to Bring Your Family Closer Together in 2012
Discover our purpose as a family and begin living it.
I really love this article on Simple Mom that I found this year (first published in 2009). In it, Tsh speaks about realizing your family's priorities and forgetting about the rest. She gives her readers a solid template to understand what you want and need for your family to really be successful, including:
- What are a few strengths of each member of our family?
- What are the top four priorities we want our family to value?
- What are practical ways we can serve others outside our family?
Eat dinner together.
As the oldest child in a family with six children, I know fully the importance of eating together as a family: increased communication within the family, better nutrition and the building of family traditions. I've really striven to eat the majority of home meals with my family, and I'll continue this into 2012. Some of the best conversation starters which I've used in my family have come from the Aha! Parenting website.
- If you could change one thing about your appearance, what would it be?
- What do you think makes a happy family?
- Have I never not noticed when you're sad?
Vow to laugh more.
I am way too hard on my kids and way too serious — it's hard not being this way when life is unbalanced like it is for me now. Fortunately, I have a choice in how I respond to this life. I am vowing to spend more time laughing with my kids, telling jokes and living in the moment, instead of hollering at them and making myself nuts over the little things.
- Why did the bacon laugh? Because the egg cracked a yolk!
- Why do you put band-aids in the refrigerator? For cold cuts!
- What has two humps and is at the North Pole? A lost camel!
How will you begin the new year with your family? Are there traditions you have carried with you from your years of growing up?
Desiree Allen is a thirty-something single parent with two children. A native of Denver, Colorado, she lived there until 2009, when she moved across the country to northern New Jersey with her kids. She is doing her best to avoid 'picking up' a Jersey accent, but she's not making promises that she won't eventually start sounding like some of her new friends. You can find her blogging at Writing to Sanity and tweeting @writingtosanity.