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The joy of being a family

The joy of being a family
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All work and no play makes jack a dull boy” couldn’t have been truer in the modern world filled with a lot of competition and a constant race up the...

Make family nights a regular feature to strengthen bonds with each other and bust that stress

All work and no play makes jack a dull boy” couldn’t have been truer in the modern world filled with a lot of competition and a constant race up the ladder. Including some amount of recreation every so often is important to keep one’s own mind productive enough to handle the stress of the day.

Similarly, ensuring play time as a family, irrespective of whether the kids are small or older, is essential to stay connected and improve the bond with one another. Studies have shown over the years that the family’s health reflects on each individual’s mental health as well – especially the health of children.

The “family night” concept is nothing new and many families incorporate it. Family night could include a host of things. First step is to sit down and brainstorm for ideas. Take everyone’s opinions and ideas and write them down. Start working your way through the list.

As any other marketing strategy, you have to start with something you know everyone will surely buy. Several ideas which will come up may include: play a board game (which can teach children problem solving, dealing with losing, etc.), camp out in the back yard (with the whole campfire et al), have a slumber party, hold an awards ceremony (to celebrate the family’s accomplishments), artsy evenings (design personalised greeting cards instead of buying them), watch the night sky… and this list could go on.

More ideas to make it special
Cook together: Whip up a batch of cupcakes or make a pasta dinner together. Cooking and meals are meant to bring families together – something growing increasingly less in recent times.

Exercise
Fit and healthy families are happy too. Ride the bike together, run around in the park or play tennis. Getting outdoors is preferable as it can be a great stress buster, provide physical activity and also give the body the adequate supply of Vitamin D it needs.

Sing and dance: Make it a karaoke night with some family favourites. Sing and dance up a storm – and make sure it’s pretty loud! Dancing is another great mood-elevator even for the one who can’t dance.

Family meetings: More serious family nights could have discussions on topics relevant to the home. Involve the children in the decision-making process to help them understand how to do so. Plan meals together, assign chores, set family rules.

Flip through photos: Review photo albums, sharing memories of previous generations, the childrens’ birth and more.

Benefits of play: Playing is crucial for a child’s development and similarly, it is beneficial for adults of all ages. Play can be done alone or with a pet too, but it should ideally be in the absence of electronic gadgets which otherwise fill up our days.

Relieves stress: Play triggers the release of endorphins – the feel-good chemicals that promote an overall sense of well-being and happiness.

Sharpens brain: Games such as chess and puzzles challenge the brain and improve the memory, which is great for the long run.

Boosts creativity: Children and a lot of adults tend to retain more information when it is put forward in a fun manner. This stimulates imagination and finding new ways to solve the problem at hand.

Improves social skills: Children as well as adults learn a lot about verbal communication, body language, cooperation and teamwork through spending time together.

Heals emotional wounds: Play can prove to be an ice-breaker between individuals of the family who are unhappy with each other.

Ultimately, the idea is to spend quality time together, talk out grievances and most importantly, have fun. George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

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