February is the month of love, and during this time, people often think about romance. But another type of connection that gets forgotten is family bonding. You’d think parents and kids would be naturally close-knit, but because everyone spends most of their time online, whether to check email or Facebook, they can become disconnected. If you get the feeling that your family spends more time facing screens than they do facing each other, maybe it’s time for an intervention.
Nobody’s saying that being online is always bad. However, both kids and adults must realize that being cut off from the Internet isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it can be the start of a totally new connection. With that said, here are 8 different ways to reconnect and strengthen the family’s relationship.
Overcome Boredom with Board Games
One problem with raising kids in condos is how easily they get bored. In such a confined space, it’s really tempting to just give them a tablet and pacify them with their favorite YouTube videos and games. However, if you want to really bond with the kids, nothing beats real-life play with board games. Classics like Pictionary, Monopoly or Scrabble can help in developing intelligence and promote healthy competitiveness. If you want to try something more fantastic, you can always check out stores in malls or online for new titles like Forbidden Island or Small World.
Build Harmony through Music
Families can do a lot of indoor activities in the condo, and that includes enjoying music together. Maybe you have a huge CD or MP3 collection that you’re not listening to nearly enough. Maybe you have a videoke setup that you can use for an impromptu singalong. It doesn’t just have to be for parties and guests, right? If any of the family members can play an instrument like a guitar or a keyboard, that’s a chance to go even more unplugged with the music. Just remember to keep the volume down to a reasonable level so that the neighbors don’t get disturbed.
Adopt a Family Pet
They say that it takes a village to educate a child. In the same way, it can take a family to domesticate a pet. While condo pets may not be permitted, it has become much easier to find pet-friendly condos. Some DMCI Homes allow pets, depending on the terms set in the deed of restrictions. If you’re lucky enough to live in one, then consider taking in a puppy or kitten. It’s a lot of responsibility for sure, with everyone having to pitch in to feed, bathe, and play with the little critter, but it’s something that will definitely bond the family closer.
Go Green as a Group
If pets aren’t allowed in your condo community, you can try taking care of plants instead. A touch of green in your unit can add a much-needed dash of life and color. Have the family decide on the different plants you want to care for — potted herbs to use in the kitchen or maybe a money tree to bring in good fortune. Whatever you choose, growing plants together can help families grow closer.
Connect by Cooking
Home cooking is another activity you can try. What makes the cooking show MasterChef so popular? It’s not just Gordon Ramsay and the other celebrity chefs, it’s the fact that home cooks get to express their creativity through food. If you think about it a little further, you’ll see that condo home cooking can reinforce the family bond. Just remember that family cooking isn’t just about preparing your next meal, it’s a chance to work as a team and have fun experimenting with different flavors for a better condo dining experience. Of course, you have to help the kids with heavy and dangerous objects, so that’ll be a good trust-building exercise, too!
Aim for Family Fitness
Are the older ones in your family trying to get fit or lose weight? Are you worried that your kids aren’t getting enough sunshine? You can hit two birds with one stone by making family fitness a routine. Even if you live in a condo, outdoor living and active routines are still possible. Some DMCI communities and developments have amenities like jogging paths and pools where the whole family can break a sweat the fun way. If you are really into it, take that bonding to the next level by joining a family fun run!
Tidy Up Together
One major headache in condo living is cleaning. You live in your unit for a few years and before you know it, you’ve got dust collecting in the worst places and so much junk taking up space. With a little creativity, you can turn that daunting task into a fun project. Try holding mini-contests to see who can dust furniture the fastest, or putting glass cleaner in squirt guns. Need to get rid of old clothes? Make a game out of it by holding a “fashion survival show” where the worst-looking and least practical outfits will be thrown out. You can even take Mary Poppins’ advice and whistle while you work!
Bond Over Books
Books aren’t just for bedtime. Browse any bookstore and you’ll find something for practically every purpose. Whether you’re looking for entertaining fiction novels, educational materials, non-fiction for personal development, or some other type of reading material, you’ll be sure to find something that the whole family can enjoy. You can organize a fun production by acting out scenes from novels, or discuss and debate some ideas that you learned from something you read. You can also subscribe to magazines for interesting articles to read and share.
Families may spend time together at home, but too often, that doesn’t translate into quality time. With a Wi-Fi connection, it is easy to be distracted with things that are really not that important. So this love month, consider different ideas to create meaningful family moments offline. When you’re with the ones you love, celebrate your time with them.