Family Bonding

We know from experience how difficult it is sometimes to find balance in our lives. We are always being pulled in different directions; by either our partners, kids, daily responisibilities or trying to find our own free time. As you are making your weekly schedule make sure to add in specific family time, me time, date night, and all other chores and duties. But whenever you make that time to be together as a family be sure that you are actually with your family mentally as well. Enjoy the people you love and be in the moment with them. By making time to spend with your family it foster’s family bonding and child development. There are some great tips that we found to help you:

10 Easy Tips to Foster Family Bonding and Child Development


Submitted by: John Hitchcock

Work, school, extracurricular activities; these daily activities that make our lives so busy create difficulties for parents to foster a bond with their children. While your children are out of school for the summer you can easily strengthen family relationships by spending time with one another, listening to each other, and respecting each other’s opinions. Below are ten easy things a parent can do to form stronger bonds with their children.

1. Try and eat dinner together with no distractions, such as television or phones. Eating a family meal together not only promotes better eating habits, but also gives family members time to discuss their day and any good or challenging things happening in their life.
2. A great way of having fun while bonding with your family is to create a “Family Night” where the entire family participates in an activity. This can be as easy as a board game night, an evening out at a fun family restaurant, or to go see a movie
3. Helping a child with their homework not only allows you to spend time together, but enables you to see what they are learning and how they are doing academically. Your support and praise will go a long way in boosting their confidence in school.
4. When planning a family vacation you can ask your children where they want to go and what they want to see or do. By incorporating them in the planning process you make them feel like an integral part of the family.
5. Many children have extracurricular activities like sports or dance. By involving yourself in these activities and praising them on their participation you are helping build their confidence as well as strengthening your bond.
6. Many parents know that reading to your child daily increases their literacy, but it also allows for a time when both parent and child are completely focused on one another and can communicate freely about the book or other subjects.
7. Teaching your children the importance of volunteerism and giving back by volunteering for a local charity or organization can show them the importance of what they have and make them a more socially conscience person.
8. Getting involved in your children’s hobbies, whether it is collecting baseball cards or horseback riding, shows your support of their chosen activity and allows them to feel they can express themselves in any way.
9. By encouraging your children to be active and exercising together you foster healthier habits for both you and your child while you both communicate about the activities you are doing.

10. Childhood, especially the adolescent years, is incredibly hard on the self esteem of many children. By telling a child you love them and giving compliments or positive feedback frequently you can foster their confidence and perception of themselves. By listening and being supportive of their ideas, even if you don’t agree, makes them feel as if they can come to you with their problems and discuss their true feelings.

There is nothing better than having a place you can call home, where you feel loved, appreciated and safe. As a parent, having a strong bond with your children creates a feeling of unity and safety. It is important to do all you can to create these family bonds to ensure a happier and healthier family. Following any of the above activities this summer can help assist you and your family in creating a strong life long bond and help foster better parenting skills for you.

Bio: As a licensed clinical social worker, John Hitchcock is the executive director of Hillsides, a Pasadena charity that creates safe places for children in foster care living in its residential treatment center and prevents the cycle of abuse for children at risk and their families. Hitchcock is an expert on child welfare issues and has a blog, , addressing foster care and child advocacy issues. To learn more about Hillsides, visit




 Hope these tips help. Taking small steps to start will allow you and your family to grow together. Just remember that it is very rewarding to turn off the tv and cell phones and just be with your family. Play some silly games or do a project together. Hug and kiss and laugh a lot. You will see how amazing of a day you can have! Let us know how it all went and here are some ideas for games and projects.

  • renting old movies and eating caramel and popcorn
  • going to a new movie and smuggling in candy
  • painting each other’s portrait on canvas place mats
  • decorating bird houses
  • making holiday gifts like beaded jewelry
  • carving pumpkins and baking the seeds
  • having a spa night where everyone gets special treatment, candles are lit, and relaxing music plays
  • reading stories to each other
  • rock climbing
  • hosting an International Ping-Pong Invitational
  • putting together puzzles
  • playing house by reversing roles
  • playing I-spy with a special shell that you found at the beach on your last Family Day
  • playing bingo with a grand prize of another Family Day choice
  • adventuring out to a museum then talking about it by the fire that night
  • telling tall tales


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