3 Simple Things Families Can Do to Stay Close to Each Other
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about 3 simple things families can do to stay close to each other.
The pandemic continues, and it probably will for years to come. That’s what many experts feel will happen, as the Delta and Omicron variants are but the first of many. That means Covid-19 might still be here in two years, or five, or ten.
It’s not the worst news in the world for individuals who agree to get the vaccine, the appropriate boosters, and to wear masks and practice social distancing whenever they can. However, something like the pandemic breeds stress. Doctors see this and report a mental health crisis happening in America.
What might all this mean for the American family? It sometimes means that even if you and your family members live together, you might not be able to connect as well as you’d like. If everyone goes to school, works different schedules, or doesn’t spend much time together when they are at home, it’s easy to start to feel isolated, even when you’re living with multiple other family members.
Let’s talk about a few things family members can do during the pandemic to stay close to one another.
Cooking and Eating Dinner Together
The stress that the pandemic brings is not always such an easy thing to spot. It’s similar to how someone might feel after a car crash. The person might not have physical wounds or scars, but they’re not doing so well emotionally and psychologically.
You can check in with everyone in the family if you all get together to cook the evening meal. Assuming that everyone is home at night, you can all take a half-hour or so to gather in your kitchen to prepare a dinner you all like.
Once you agree on the menu, each family member can get a task. The young ones might prepare a side dish while the adults handle the entrée.
As you cook together, you’re spending time with each other, and you can assess how everyone feels. If anyone is not doing well, the other family members can be their support system. That matters during this stressful time when a lot of uncertainty exists in the world.
After you cook together, you can all eat together. This is a fun time that should put smiles on everyone’s faces and let you all forget your troubles for a while.
Family Movie Night
You might also pick a particular weeknight and call it family movie night. All the family members can gather together and pick out a couple of movies to watch. You might pop some popcorn and sit together on the couch for a quiet evening with no interruptions.
A weekend night like Friday or Saturday might be the best time to do it. That’s a time when the parents shouldn’t have work, and the kids can find another time to do homework.
If you all regard this time as sacrosanct, you will know not to make other plans that will cancel your night together. Like cooking and eating together, this is a time to take everyone’s collective temperature. You can use this night to talk about anything that a family member feels if you don’t feel like watching a movie and escaping through it.
Family Game Night
Family game night can be like family movie night, but all of you participate a little more actively. You might choose a classic game like Monopoly, Connect Four, Battleship, or Sorry. These games have been around for decades, and adults can introduce their kids to some of the same favorites they had as children.
If your kids are more into video games, you might play one of those as a family instead. You can always select one like Super Mario Kart that is not too violent. That will be a suitable choice if you have some younger kids.
Make sure not to get super competitive with it. Everyone wants to win, but you can also use this opportunity to teach your kids that winning isn’t everything. Spending time with family and blowing off a little steam is what this activity is all about.
Other families might go on walks together or bike rides if the weather is nice where you are. You might go out to dinner somewhere if you feel safe doing that during the pandemic.
The point is that you check in regularly to see how everyone feels. If you’re part of each other’s lives, you should all feel that support network and benefit from it.