Monday, October 1, 2012

Creativity ... Family ... Fresh

Keeping life in family fresh is a challenge since family life happens every single in and day out. It can get routine, boring, tough and stressful. Somehow we need to find ways to keep our times together as families one of the highlights of our lives and our kids lives. How do we do that?

1. Laugh together: What makes everyone laugh? Do you know how to be silly together? Can you tell great stories? Do you notice funny things? One of our customs lately is when we thank God for our food we think of some of the funny things going on in our family to thank God for. ie. "God we thank you for the food and for my daughter's crazy singing, Mom's silly dancing and the boys crazy bike ride where they almost crashed." Of course, you need to make sure everyone is in on the laugh and you know people's sensitive points. But laughing together is one of the best ways to keep things fresh.

2. Take the time to dream up new things. It only takes a few minutes of hard thinking and you will come up with at least one or two doable good ideas or activities you can do this week for fun together. Each family is unique so it's tough to copy others but here are a few ideas...
 - bike ride, attend a hockey game, fly kites, remote control cars, jogging, scavenger hunt (or just pick leaves, pine cones, dried wood, rocks), picnic, dinner at a quaint little eating place, go for a drive, walk in the country, canoeing, tennis, make a pie together, crafts (too old or cool for that? Build something), campout, watch a local kids soccer/football game, go for ice cream, watch TV and eat popcorn, watch your favourite youtube videos.
Our family has several yearly traditions around walking in farmer fields, taking pictures in leaves and lots of others. Most of them formed when we picked something fun and it actually worked out to be we did it again.

3. Pick fun one on one stuff. Yesterday I was tired but hadn't connected with my daughter one on one for a while. We usually go for ice cream together but that is getting old so I was trying to think of something else to do. I asked her if she'd like to make a meal together. She was up for it and I made myself despite how tired I felt. As we got going it became a BLAST. We found food ideas in cookbooks, went shopping, cooked and presented our efforts to the family. I have never really cooked anything in my life so it was a learning experience for us both. We were sure proud of our creations! The other day my wife and I had one of our sons alone for a while and we know he likes to bike so we did an "epic bike ride"...the real thing...10 km's plus lunch and dessert.

Whatever the age of stage it's good to try to find ways to keep family fresh.