Shut down doesn’t have to feel like shut down! Due to current restrictions caused by COVID-19, many families aren’t traveling as much as they normally do this time of year. Even local activities in many areas are still difficult to enjoy because of closures. But, that doesn’t mean we should stop having fun as a family. Now more than ever, we need to deliberately define who we are as families, and fun times together give us the vivid memories we need for focus, family stability, and healthy family bonds.
A father recently told me that he wanted to get his family motivated to strengthen family bonds and improve family communication. He wanted more happiness and unity. So, I told him the first thing he should do is help his children get a vision of who they are becoming as a family. He agreed that his children needed to see the family as a group going in a unified direction instead of just selfishly seeing what they each wanted to get from each other.
Steps for Creating Vision
I suggested to this father that a great way to get a family on board with a family vision is to follow these simple steps.
First, the parents make a list of what vision they have for their family. This includes a list of attributes they want their family to develop, as well as an upcoming event, 10 or 20 years in the future, that they can attach their attributes to. This story could revolve around a family tradition or a holiday that is joyful for the family. This way the family gets to practice that future family vision event at least one time per year.
Second, parents take their children on a fun outing or do a fun family activity. While everyone is having a good time, the parents point out to the group how they are feeling about their family members and what feels most important to them at that time. They describe the feeling.
Third, the parents tell the children about the vision for the family that they’ve made and ask the children for input. The family discusses the importance of this future event and what it means for their family on a daily basis. The family now has a bonding feeling; an openness, a kindness, an honesty, and a feeling of fun to shoot for throughout their journey together as a family. This gives each family member a reason to work on their family relationships and communication and a reason to care about family unity in the first place.
Getting Everyone On Board
Many families go through the motions each day, solving and correcting problems and getting all the to-do lists done, but they don’t always feel like they’re really making much progress at becoming a united family. A simple, deliberate effort to create a story for your family can change that mundane feeling into an energized feeling of focus and unity, especially if the family discusses their vision regularly or when it goes off course.
After the father and I talked about creating a family vision and having a great family activity in order to help the children get on board with making some deliberate changes in their relationships and communication, he came up with lots of fun ideas that are totally doable during COVID-19 restrictions. He thought of going biking as a family, going to the seashore, and visiting a lake. There are so many other things families can do to bond during these times. Be sure to make plans to do somethings together. Our family has been doing things that I used to do on dates when I was young. Those fun date ideas make great family activities!
When you have regular family activities with your family, you’re practicing at becoming the family you hope to be forever and bringing out the best in the group. The best feelings create the fondest memories, and those memories give us security, focus, and family identity.
I know not every family activity is perfect. Sometimes people get moody and act poorly, even on a fun family activity. Don’t let that stop you. There will be moments of fun you can stop and talk about, and you can bring quality components into the activity while you are doing it like, looking in their eyes, smiling, asking them about the things they like, etc.
Family activities help create family bonds. They are vital to the success of strong families. Plan a fun family activity today. Children love to see their parents initiate fun times!
For more help with preparing your family vision watch, “How To Write A Family Vision Statement.”