When working hours are long and traffic is horrible, people just want to get home, put their feet up on the couch or hit the hay. It is totally understandable. It’s been a long day and you deserve some rest. But then, there’s also a part of you—as a parent, wife or husband, a friend, a dutiful son or daughter—that wants to do more.
If not spending enough time with family makes you guilty, you are not alone. A survey revealed that families are spending eight hours a week or an average of 36 minutes a day together because of the demands of modern life. During weekdays, families spend less than an hour together and more than two hours on weekends. But wait, just two hours of family bonding on weekends? Parents say that family weekends are interrupted by house chores and that their kids would rather play computer games or watch TV. Maybe it’s a good idea to unplug so that everyone can focus on really spending family day in the condo, and not spend “family time” glued to their respective phones.
There is also a problem with definition. For some parents, family bonding requires preparing meals, packing bags, and going to the beach or camping. That also means spending money (which you might not have at the moment) to gas up the car, hit the road, book a hotel reservation, and pay for activities. But the truth is that weekends, to be fun and memorable, do not mean breaking the bank. It does not mean going away either. If you live in a condo, just like many modern families, everything you need is right outside your doorstep. Condo living has never been this convenient and relaxing, offering you everything you need to keep the family together.
This weekend, explore the many things you can do in your condo community. Never lose sight of the importance of bonding sessions during the weekend because this is one of the things you can’t bring back. Sure, there will be more weekends, but nothing like the ones you already missed.
To keep you motivated on planning that next weekend bonding session, here are some priceless benefits for the entire family.
Making a connection
Weekends are a good way to reconnect. Parents spend most of their time at work and kids spend theirs in school. When was the last time you ever asked your kid: How was school? Did you make new friends? What score did you get in your Science project?
A stronger emotional bond is created between parents and children when they do typical daily activities together such as eating dinner as a family, playing board games or doing some chores. On weekends, you can level it up by grilling some barbecue by the pool cabanas. You can also have your own pool party. You may also decorate the balcony with bean bags so that you can have snacks there together. Cook something special and teach your kids some kitchen skills they can use. Part of condo living allows you to make weekends extra special so that the entire family has something to look forward to. Condo living also makes these times together even sweeter since commercial and entertainment hubs are near, meaning less time spent stuck in traffic.
Better performance in school
Academic success begins at home. If you can barely muster the energy to help your kids with their assignments on weekdays, make sure to help them with school work on weekends. Give the tutor a rest. Studies suggest that children who spend time communicating with their parents tend to do better in school and get higher grades.
Family time in the condo could mean brushing up on your child’s multiplication table or doing some science projects together. Make it more fun by incorporating mad science tricks or having your own math quiz night. To make your own erupting volcano, for example, everything you need is in the kitchen. For a quiz night, some popcorn or chips will complete the mood. Don’t forget the prizes, too.
Raise better people
One of the advantages of spending weekends with the family is opening up communication lines. Kids who communicate with their parents more tend to have less behavioral problems growing up. Communication is the key to a lot of problems that children and teens go through every day. When they know they have a solid support system behind them, they feel like they can take on the world.
Take advantage of the weekends to really talk to your children. While helping them with their homework, they might nonchalantly open up about rough days in school or getting bullied. While playing basketball with your teenage boy, he might tell you about his first crush. Kids who know the value of family rarely turn to alcohol, illegal substances, violence or peers to solve their problems. They grow up to be better human beings.
Learn new skills
Weekends are a perfect time to teach kids new skills. Busy dads can get the much-needed exercise by playing ball with their young boy and teach him dribbling and shooting skills. They can also incorporate life lessons such as the importance of discipline and being a good leader and team player. Busy moms, on the other hand, can teach their kids to cook or bake. There are a lot of skills that children can learn in the kitchen. You may also learn a new skill as a family like playing an instrument, dancing or recycling.
Live a longer, healthy life
A study by Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina found that strong social ties help people live a longer and healthier life. The study showed that social relationships have about the same impact that can be seen between a person who smokes and a person who doesn’t. Reviving family bonding activities have superior impact on longevity. When people are having fun, have someone to talk to, and are constantly laughing, they are sure to live happy and healthy lives.
Never underestimate the power of family weekends, not just on the children but also the parents who work hard. As much as possible, make weekends gadget-free or at least find ways to integrate technology with family activities instead of having technology disrupt family bonding sessions. Don’t trade weekends for extra work if it is not necessary. Make weekends a time to connect with the people you love inside the home and in the community.