Guest Author - Megan Faulkner
As the year comes to a close, many people begin thinking about potential resolutions. As I worked on my list of resolutions, I began to notice a theme emerge: connection. There are many things that I would like to work on in the upcoming year and all of them center around, or could certainly include, my family.
The biggest thing on the resolutions list is to reduce the amount of time that the television is on. When I started my list I did not realize how important this one thing could be, but television severely stunts the ability for people to connect. Sure, sometimes the shows are educational or they prompt a great conversation about a particular topic, but in general, the television tends to reduce the amount of conversation within our household and it reduces the amount of imaginative play or other pursuits.
Read More Books
If television time is reduced, that time can then be used for other things. High on my list is reading more books. My son loves going to the library and picking out new books. We used to go at least once a week for children’s story time. Many libraries offer different events or incentives to make going to the library exciting for young children. Now that my son is starting to read more books on his own, I have rediscovered my own love for reading. Being able to sit quietly and lose myself in a book is a nice break from the chaos of everyday life. It is important to find ways to nurture yourself while raising your children, and reading can be a great way to accomplish that.
Dinner is an opportunity for family members to connect after a busy day. If your children are old enough to participate in conversation, dinner time talks can be revealing, creative, intimate, and engaging. Moving beyond the typical talk about one’s day, conversation starters can help families take their dinner conversations in a whole new direction. Some parents enjoy coming up with their own conversations ideas. If you find yourself struggling with ideas, there are many great products or ideas on the web. We filled a small jar with several ideas for stimulating conversations. If we get stuck thinking up a subject, we can pull an idea out of the jar and see where it takes us!
Many other popular resolutions could also be worked towards as a family. If you are seeking to lose weight, why not include your children in your workout routine. It sets a great example and helps them burn off some energy at the same time! If you want to eat healthier meals, set up a food pyramid and have your children help pick foods from each category. Let your kids help you in the kitchen as you prepare meals. The kitchen can be a great place for connecting with your children.
New Year’s can be a great opportunity to take stock of what you have done with the past year and to look forward to what you hope to accomplish in the future. As we work towards our goals this year, I hope to keep the focus on the big picture: a happy, connected family.