Moving your family into a new home brings with it a sense of renewal and excitement. Perhaps you also moved to a new city or a new neighborhood. While a big move comes with challenges, it also presents incredible opportunities for your family’s lifestyle. Take this time to implement positive change in your household by establishing new traditions with your family. Some of the best traditions you can create are cost-effective and can bring your family together with a greater sense of closeness. Here are five great traditions to try out with your partner and children.
#1 — Movie Night or Game Night, or both
A great family activity you can implement immediately is family movie night. Pick one night each week when your kids don’t have an after-school activity and establish a movie night. You can try picking out a movie as a family or let each family member pick out a film on rotation each week. With the rotation method, everyone gets to watch something of their preference at some point, and your family can learn about each other’s interests. Having a family game night is another way to get your kids together. Following the movie night method outlined above, you can take turns selecting a game to play each week to have fun and get to know each other better.
#2 — Family Meal
The combination of your work schedule and all the available after-school activities for your kids may make it impossible to have the whole family together for dinner every night. Establishing at least one morning or evening each week where the entire family sits down for a meal and catches up on the events of the week is essential to your family bonding. You want to know what’s going on in your children’s lives and you want to teach them to care about each other’s lives. Whether it’s one meal each day or a couple of days a week or just one day a week this time together will prove useful in having the family lifestyle you desire.
Bonus Idea: Each week have a special mealtime or day when the kids are in charge of cooking, with your help of course. Work with your children to teach them to design and prepare a meal and have fun while instilling life skills they’ll need when they become adults.
#3 — Family Reading Hour
Select a book or, better yet, a series of books to read with your kids. Make time for reading together for an hour or so a few days a week, or a couple of chapters each evening. Start by reading to your children and as they learn to read have them take turns contributing to the out loud reading time, maybe just a page or paragraph at a time. Of course, as your kids start to grow up, their interests will change, and they may not be able to agree on a book to read together. Keep the tradition alive by continuing family reading hour a few times each week and ask that everyone gather in the same room to read to themselves while being with family.
Tip: Ask your children, and lead by example, to leave cell phones, tablets, and other devices in their rooms during these established family times. Though you may get a little push-back at first allowing your family to focus on each other a few different times each week will strengthen the bond between you and your children and will keep your family together long-term.
As you finish moving into your new home take some time with your partner and children to figure out what traditions you want to explore and start trying different activities out. You’ll soon be on your way to creating those memorable moments you desire for your family.