Modern life sees us pulled in a million directions. Yet we only have 18 golden summers with our precious kids.
Seize the day mum. Make a silent promise to reconnect as a family this year.
When day-to-day life is hectic, it’s easy to fall into suburban survival mode. Sure, everyone is alive, fed and sort-of happy but you’re not sharing quality time or making family precious memories.
Truth be told you have 18 or so years with your children. (Unfortunately, probably less by the time they realise you’re not cool and they’d rather be hanging with their mates than their oldies.) Time is short. That’s just 18 summers to swim in the ocean. 18 winters to snuggle. 18 autumns to fly kites or kick leaves. And 18 springs to lay a picnic rug and gaze at the clouds.
The days as a parent can seem so very long. But as anyone with grown children will nostalgically remind you, the years are oh-so short. So with this in mind, that’s why reconnecting as a family becomes more important than ever.
The realistic truth about happy & connected families
Best selling book, The Secrets of Happy Families suggests that keeping a strong family connection is about ‘coming together as a family whenever you have the time‘. Author Bruce Feiler understands that working parents, over-scheduled kids and attached-to-their-tech teens are generally time poor however urges parents to let go of their guilt.
His main message? Make the best of what time you can muster together!
Common sense and ample research tell us that the family that plays together, stays together. So call that family meeting and commit to some quality time, today. After all, 18 summers right? Time is ticking.
Here’s 8 great ideas sure to get everyone onboard and you’ll be reconnecting as a family in no time!
1. Make a family bucket list over the kitchen table
Sometimes the planning is as good as the activity! Designing your family’s bucket list is as much quality time as is the activities that it will inspire you to actually do. Grab a large sheet of paper and ask everyone to come up with 5 ideas of what they’d like to do together this year – anything goes! Then together cull the list back to one activity a month for the next 12 months. The culling will require discussion, negotiation and teamwork. Your planning should leave the whole family excited for what’s ahead. And look – you just spent an hour together as a family.
2. Reconnect as a family: On the road
Embrace the concept that the journey is as much the adventure as the destination itself! Get onboard for a wild ride and plan a family road trip. Whether it’s just a few hours or you’re bold enough for a few days, being in the car together can be a wonderful way to re-connect.
Leave behind the distractions of day-to-day life, and while you’re at it, leave the tech gadgets at home. Cruise your way to reconnection, laughing, singing and talking all the way.
3. No reservations: Eat out, together
Shared mealtimes can be a casualty of a hectic family life! Whilst eating together every night can be near impossible, why not try and have a meal out once a month to break up the routine? Use the time you’re not spending in the kitchen for quality catching up. Sitting together while someone else does the cooking means re-connecting is easier than ever! From fish and chips with a picnic rug to dining-in at your local family steak house, the emphasis is on getting out of the house and eating together.
4. Surrender to the tech for an epic family playoff
Sometimes if you can’t beat them you have to join them! When it comes to reluctant older children who can’t be torn away from their gadgets for family time, why not compromise? Have a family Mario Cart challenge or epic Just Dance session. Your kids will love you embracing what they’re into and being able to share their interest with you. Be warned, you’ll need to bring your A-game parents, but heck, you might even enjoy it!
Set the timer for one-hour of family battle time and enter your child’s world, sharing quality time together. Family reconnection level? Activated!
5. Stop being Mum and surprise the kids with the unexpected
An element of silly fun and shock can work in your favour for bringing the family together. Think outside the box and do something the kids would never expect of you. Say, what? Yep! Set up the slip and slide and be first to surf it with them. Spray-colour your hair and act like nothing is different for a laugh (and then spray theirs too!) Make ice cream sundaes for breakfast. Do a quick lap on one of their scooters. The ideas are endless. Your family will adore seeing your fun, not-being-the-parent side and the good times that can follow are recipes for endless giggles and priceless memories.
6. Plan a made-for-families family holiday
Hands down getting away from the grind is the best way to reconnect as a family. There’s nothing like taking a break together without the pressure of school, work, extracurricular activities and running the home. Even if you can only get away once a year for a mini-break, you’ll never regret this investment in keeping your family unit tight and connected!
Where is the best family holiday to re-connect? Well, that’s easy! A family-geared break is a natural choice that will tick the boxes for everyone. Seek a destination that has more than sun and surf, the best new choices including amazing waterparks, incredible kids clubs, themed rooms designed just for family sharing and an engaging calendar of daily entertainment. The perfect holiday destination will give you ample opportunities to not only reconnect as a family but get some sweet mummy-daddy time too.
7. Walking with purpose: stroll home together
Do you ever go to bed and think you’ve hardly even spoken to your children today? Not because you didn’t want to but just because you’ve all been on the run since you opened your eyes this morning? Well, you’re not alone. But quality time need not be hours in one long stretch. When your schedule permits, ditch the car and walk together to school, sport or pre-school. You’d be amazed how much chatting can be done in that short stroll and what a difference a small amount of time together can make. As author Bruce Feiler suggests, staying connected is a matter of letting go of mum-guilt and stealing those moments together when you can. So, what are you waiting for? Why not set that alarm 15 minutes earlier for tomorrow morning.
8. Get a room, plan a date: Make time for mum and dad
When family life is full throttle, mum and dad’s relationship can need a little TLC too. Staying connected as a couple is crucial for your greater family’s reconnection – this adult relationship is the backbone of your whole family’s success.
Plan a date night whether it be a simple ‘Netflix and chill’ (wink, wink) or a steal a sneaky night away together. If you struggle for a babysitter a family holiday where there’s a kid’s club can also be a way to get some much-needed adult time. Where there’s a will there’s a way, right? But when mum and dad are smiling, everyone will be feeling more connected. Think of your next date night as an investment in the whole family. Go on, you deserve it!
18 summers. That’s all we have with our children.
Don’t let the endless push and pull of modern life get in the way of reconnecting as a family. Embrace a guilt-free approach and commit to finding the windows in your day, week or year to spend time together.
Give or take, you have 18 summers. Ride the skateboard. Make the pancakes. Book the holiday. Your whole family will thank you for it. Make reconnecting as a family a priority for you and your crew, today.
Grab a Great Holiday Deal with The Ruby Collection today!
Thinking you’d like to have that holiday and reconnect as a family? Look no further that family favourite The Ruby Apartments. You will be high-fiving with delight from the moment you arrive at this brand new accommodation on the beautiful Gold Coast. Designed for families who love style, entertainment and everyone having the time of their life, there’s no better place to reconnect.
The Ruby Apartments tick every box for the whole crew, making it the perfect place for your next family holiday.
READ our Ruby Collection Review and WATCH what happened below when we let the kids loose on the amazing ZK4 Waterpark on our recent stay at Ruby Collection!