The world of technology and social media has our foster families in a dangerous position. On any given night, with the entire family at home, you can see one parent playing games on the Xbox, one working on the computer, one child playing games on the Kindle, one child streaming Netflix on the TV, and yet another scrolling through Facebook and Instagram on his or her phone. The family is, in actuality, all together in one room, but no family bonding or interaction is happening. Disconnecting from the electronics and reconnecting needs to happen once in a while if you want to look up from your phone and know what is happening with your family members. Aside from what they post on Instagram. Here are some fun activities you can try with your family to reconnect:
One activity that everyone loves is — eating! Instead of letting mom or dad make dinner every night, get the whole family involved in making dinner or making a dessert for after dinner. Put the phones away and spend some bonding time by working together to create something you can all enjoy.
Create a Movie to Post Online
You do not have to ban electronics to bond as a family. As a family, come up with something you can make a movie about. Maybe you have a story you want to write, practice, act out, and record? Perhaps you can make up a dance that you can learn, practice, record, then post for friends and family to see? Find something movie-worthy that you can do all together and then post online.
There are so many things you can do as a family when you go outside that doesn’t involve the internet and social media. Go to the park, run around, play games, have a picnic, go on a hike, etc. If it’s cold and snowy outside, you can do some service by shoveling walks as a family — teach your kids that not everything has to be selfie-worthy.
Make an Activity Jar
The hardest part of family time is finding something that the whole family wants to do regularly. After you do that first few activities that everyone wants to do, you run into the problem of only a few people wanting to do certain activities. Solve this problem by creating an Activity Jar. Have each family member write an activity he or she would like to do with the rest of the family and place it in the jar. When the family can’t agree on an activity, draw one from the jar and do whatever is on the paper — it might not be what everyone wants to do, but everyone will get a chance to do what they want over time.
Hold a ‘Teach Me’ night. Each member of the family will take a turn to teach the rest of the family, something that they are good at. If mom is good at cooking, dad is good with leather, and one child is a talented artist, and another is good at building towers out of blocks, then take turns letting each family member teach the others his or her unique talent. This can be a fun night even for young children — they can start learning how to teach others by helping you do what they do best — even if that talent is playing with stuffed animals — have fun with it!
Disconnect regularly so that you and your foster family know more about each other than what you see online. Disconnect and build strong relationships by spending quality time together; laugh together, play together, talk to each other, and, most importantly — have fun together with family friendly activities.