Families can be tough nuts to crack, especially if you don’t really get to spend a lot of quality time together. If you have a big family, making sure that you can tend to everyone’s needs can be difficult and when one child needs more than another, the imbalance can put everyone on edge.
It might sound surprising, but one good way to bring everyone together is to play a team sport. Think of it as a team building exercise for your family. You won’t have enough people for full teams but a 2 vs 2 game of soccer is just as fun. And if you wanted, you could always challenge another close family and play against them. You could even get pullover softball jerseys for everyone to show you are a team.
Take an afternoon outside in the sunshine and get together to play. You’ll quickly see that there are all sorts of advantages you’ve been missing out on.
Just like family life, communication is key in a team sport and learning to talk to each other is vital. Encourage everyone to do their best, celebrate wins and commiserate losses together and you already have a stronger foundation for other topics.
If you are struggling to talk to your children – and teens can cause real communication blockages across the family – a team game is a great way to reopen the channels and practise just casual conversation. Obviously, you aren’t going to talk about any serious topics here but it could be a good way to learn how to talk to each other again.
At times it can feel like you are just going through the motions at home. You come in, you eat, you nag about homework, you collapse in front of the TV and then go to bed knowing tomorrow will be more of the same. Throwing in a game will mix things up a bit and whatever you skills are like, you can be sure to have fun.
The best games aren’t really serious and it doesn’t really matter who wins, it’s more about having a laugh together, gently teasing each other and praising virtues that appear on the pitch. After the game, it’s just as important to recap all the highlights together and start preserving the best stories for future years when all it takes is ‘remember that time we played baseball…’ for you all to crack up.
When you spend all your time running about making sure everything gets done on time, relaxation isn’t going to be the first thing on your mind. One mistake that young parents can fall into is thinking that it is impossible to relax with their kids. While this is entirely understandable, it’s not a healthy way to be and it’s not a good example to set either.
Spending quality time together relaxing with a team sport is a fun way to show that you can let loose and enjoy yourself with them. When you make the time, don’t spend it thinking about everything else you need to do, be present in the moment. It will bring you closer.