Having a family dinner is one important part of being a family. A family dinner gives a child a routine, a safe place and a warm meal together with loved ones. But what can you do if your dinner schedules do not match up? How can you keep in touch?
Many parents do not know what is going on in their teenager’s lives for several reasons. Most families discuss the day at family dinner. If your schedules do not allow dinners you will miss this opportunity. Often time’s schedules are filled with errands, sports practices, music lessons, and meeting friends. If you additionally work late or your work is second shift you might not have many chances to see your children.
To improve the way you stay in touch you can try anyone of the following solutions. If you do not have time for a family dinner because of scheduling extracurricular issues, go ahead and try to tackle that schedule. Look at what is holding you back from family dinners and try to reschedule these events. Of course you cannot reschedule all the things planned for that week, but maybe a few nights a week you can get together and have a family dinner. When you do so, make sure your children know why you are changing the schedule and why you think it is important to have a family dinner. During these family dinners, talk to your children, discuss the day, the week, the upcoming events and especially if they have any issues or problems.
If you cannot get many of these family dinners going because your schedule is just bursting full, there are other ways to stay in touch with your children. Every morning, everybody comes through the kitchen, has breakfast, take the time and talk to them. This is the perfect half and hour to get in touch and find out about your children’s interests.
If you are the driver to school, get a chat going don’t let them plug their mp3 players or iPods in their ear, do not let them use their cell phones to talk to their friends. Start up a conversation with your kids. Find out about their school days, anything that is going on. If you are the driver you have the opportunity every time you drive your children to stay in touch, to be connected to them.
When they are home at night, get together for social interaction like playing board games or just sitting together and have a chat. It does not need to be dinner to talk to your children. Any time that they are around you is a good time.
Oftentimes, children do not want to spend all this time with their parents or do not want to talk about their lives with their parents. But when children regularly talk to their parents and a good connection exists, keeping in touch can be easy. The more you are in touch with your children, the better are the chances that you find out about problems early. You can help redirect them with early relationships, sliding grades, drugs, alcohol and much more. Parents’ involvement in children’s life’s and education helps getting your children on a successful path. Use any and all times to talk to your children. Even though you want to talk to your children and know everything that is going on in their life, be respectful and do not overdue it. Teenagers are at a developmental stage where they want to find their identity away from the parents, therefore staying in touch can be difficult and when tried to hard, the contact can actually rather be lost than saved.
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What are some good ideas for creating family traditions? Here are some ideas based on the holiday. These can be useful to get you started but remember that your own family traditions can be whatever you want and they don’t have to be centered around a holiday at all. Part of the fun of a family tradition is that it is yours and you can do whatever you want.
• Create your own special day or holiday such as “unbirthdays” or “family day”
• Never go to bed without saying I love you
• Have a special birthday meal whenever a family member has a birthday
• On Saturdays, everyone cooks breakfast together
• Have a monthly movie day where you watch movies that explore traditions
• Sing a special birthday song made up by the family
• Keep a family journal and let everyone write in it
• Make a scrapbook for every family vacation
• Always eat dinners together as a family and talk about your day
• Take turns choosing topic of discussion at dinner
These are just some ideas for creating family traditions. You can use these to boost your own ideas and be sure to ask your family members to think of their own. You can have everyone write down their ideas for traditions and then vote as a family on the ones you want to make happen.
Ideas for Passing on Family Traditions
When it comes to passing on family traditions, there are many ideas here as well. The most important thing to remember is to remain consistent. It’s important to do something over and over again each time to become tradition. If your family does not seem enthusiastic about it right away, you will have to help motivate them by being consistent.
For example, hold an event every year at the same time and continue to encourage the family to participate. Remain positive about it even if others do not and always continue even if only a few show up. By doing this consistently and with enthusiasm, others will begin to join in and the tradition will continue. As soon as all parties give up and miss an event, the tradition dies along with any enthusiasm to do it.
Here are some holiday traditions that we enjoy and might help you get started:
• For Easter, color eggs together or have an Easter egg hunt
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving or Christmas
• Collect or make an ornament each year at Christmas
• Have Thanksgiving dinners together with everyone helping to make a dish
• Have the children dress up as pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving
• Re-enact holiday events or perform a small skit as a family
• Act out the Christmas story
• Make cookies and milk for Santa
• Leave shoes outside for “baby New Year” to fill with goodies
• Create family New Year resolutions together
These ideas should help you with creating and passing on family traditions of your own. Whether you have your own family now or hope to one day soon, we hope that you will explore these options and ideas for family traditions. The memories you will create together as a family will last a lifetime.
TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more. We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-725-5660