Use Family Fun to Improve Communication

 

I remember going to the park with my daughter one day. I watched her play on the play ground, while I sat on the bench.  She enjoyed waving at me occasionally, and bringing me little treasures she found.  Then, I saw “Super Connector Mom”. 

She climbed onto the playground equipment ,and slid down the slide with her son between her legs.  She played tag and included other kids.  She was fun. 

I just knew her son appreciated the time they had together.  In response, I attempted to do the same.  Unfortunately, my fitness level lacked her strength.  I became easily winded and practically peed my pants running after my daughter. (yup, I said it.)

In defeat, I sat down and accepted my boring non-connecting mother/daughter relationship.  Or was it? 

For each family, fun gets determined by who you are.   The Star Wars parents usually create amazing costumes and dress up.  I know a parent who helped her daughter make a cape to be just like the hobbits in Lord of the Rings.  For her daughter, it was fun.

Some families climb mountains, some play Frisbee, some watch “Gomer Pyle” on TV because old is so retro and cool these days.  Some families play board games, some play video games, and some cook or sew or paint.  Whatever you find as fun, do it together, and you’ll connect more. 

When you go out on a new adventure, keep fun and laughter a priority.  They matter. 

Our family knows we care, because we giggle our hardest chest pounding giggles together joined in heart and mind.  Then, when tough stuff comes up, and it will, they’ll be able to talk about the scary, deep, serious stuff too. 

There is one important catch to this approach.  We cannot strictly share our kind of fun, we must also share their kind of fun.  I know it’s a sacrifice, but they are worth it. 

My grandmother wasn’t a hockey fan, until she married my grandfather.  Because she adored him, she came to the games.  To make it fun for herself, she purposely rooted for the opposite team he supported, and she waited for fights.  That’s right, my grandmother discovered she found it fun to watch those big guys move slowly on the ice and yank on each other’s clothes, while swinging hockey sticks back and forth.

Grandpa loved the game and Grandma found fun in certain moments.  Together, they laughed.

He also participated in a fun hobby of hers, being a resort tourist.  They lived in Phoenix, Arizona, home to some gorgeous resorts.  She adored the beauty of these spaces, and he tagged along.  He discovered an ability to guide people to great places for vacation as a result, and it was fun to be in-the-know. 

Did I mention, they were married over 50 years?

Remember, the family who plays together, stays together.

Today’s Choice:

Purposely have fun with the family.

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About Paula Whidden

Wife, mom, author, speaker, former full-time youth and children's pastor turned stay-at-home-mom. Paula created www.FaithfulChoices.com to help people see and understand how our choices affect our destination in life, in marriage, in parenting and in social media. Paula wrote "25 Days 'Til Christ: An Advent Devotional for the Family" now available on Amazon.com. She is currently working on her second book to strengthen marriages.