As the new year approaches it’s natural to spend time thinking about changes you want to make and resolutions for the year ahead. It’s also a time when, as a parent, you might see your family growing up faster than you could ever have imagined and want to make more of this special time.
Today we’re taking a look at some ways you can make the most of spending more time with your family.
Seeing New Things
Our brains crave novelty and respond enthusiastically to new things. It’s why a commute to a new workplace can seem to take a long time for the first week of a job, but then disappears in an eyeblink as it becomes routine. This means if you want to lay down some memories that will last your lifetime (and your kids’ as well) you need to find some new experiences to share!
Day trips are a good way to do this – take the family out somewhere new, see new sights, do new things and create memories you’ll be reminiscing about when your kids are in their 30s. If you’re looking for fun things to do Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle have the cultural heft of capital cities but are smaller and easy to explore in a weekend, and not as expensive as London. You can visit museums and historical sites, restaurants, theatres and parks and create new stories that your family will share!
Lean into Rituals
Another way to bond with your family and create shared experiences is the opposite – repetition! Having rituals you repeat together – be they celebrating birthdays and achievements at a particular restaurant, or all helping to make pancakes together on a Sunday morning.
As well as simply fun things to do, and part of the story of your family, rituals can help you all build time together into your busy schedules. If spending that time cooking and eating together on Sunday morning is a fixture in your calendar, it’s easier to schedule other things around and make sure that precious family time isn’t subsumed by work, cleaning or other responsibilities.
Take an Interest
It’s easy, as a parent, to find yourself telling your kids what to do in an effort to minimise screen time, make sure video games don’t take over their lives and ensure they’re getting exercise in the outside world (even if you want to be sitting indoors playing Football Manager!). But try to relax that regime from time to time – take an interest in the hobbies your kids have, rather than focussing too heavily on trying to encourage healthy or productive pastimes. It’ll bring you closer to your children, foster trust and you’ll end up having some of the best times when you play together on their terms!