Family Rules! How to Bring Your Busy Family Together

Family Rules! How to Bring Your Busy Family Together

Fit in time with your family with these seven ideas for spending time together.


By: Christa Melynk Hines

With days –– and many evenings –– jam-packed with commitments, how can a busy family foster a strong sense of connection between each of its members?

The short answer: Keep it simple. Most of us are conditioned to mark holidays and birthdays with treasured family rituals. But everyday rituals are just as memorable, offering kids a sense of structure, identity, security and family cohesiveness.

First, consider your family’s lifestyle, personality and interests. Are there new ways you can connect other than the typical dinner conversation? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Be Flexible
Traditionally, dinnertime provides the perfect opportunity for families to discuss the day’s highs and lows. If scheduling issues consistently conflict with eating dinner as a family, brighten the start of the day by eating a healthy, energizing breakfast together instead.

2. Make it Sweet
If mealtime simply won’t work, plan a delicious dessert once or twice a week at the end of a busy day. Nothing will get your scattered crew scrambling to the table like something sweet while you swap stories about the day.

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3. Get Crafty
Take an evening or an afternoon to craft. Arrange an assortment of art supplies on the table: Each family member can choose something different to create. Add a musical vibe to stoke an inspiring atmosphere. While painting, colouring, cutting or pasting, each member of the family can take a turn playing DJ.

4. Snuggle up for Story Time
Read a book together at bedtime. Discuss problems going on in the story and ask your child what she thinks. Consider questions like: “How would you handle this?” or “Have you ever had something like that happen at school?” Don’t discount personal storytelling. Send them off to dreamland with a funny anecdote from your childhood, tales about an interesting relative or a made-up story.

5. Go Wild
Share your love of nature with your kids by hiking a nature trail, camping, bird watching or collecting and identifying wildflowers together.

6. Opt for Friendly Competition
Make homemade pizzas or order delivery. Then, set up your family’s favourite game. A lively game of cards or a light-hearted board game are sure-fire crowd-pleasers.

7. Catch a Flick
Pop some popcorn and watch a family-friendly film on a Friday night or a lazy Sunday afternoon. Or, find a weekly television show like a sitcom that you can all enjoy together.

Just remember, even the littlest moments can bring a family closer, nurturing resiliency and stability and building joyful memories that you and your kids will cherish for a lifetime.



Christa is a freelance writer for numerous parenting publications around the U.S. and Canada. She resides in the heartland and is centreed in her busy family, which includes her husband, two free-wheeling sons and one exceptionally playful yellow dog. She is the author of “Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life” and a staff writer at Parenting Squad.

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