Today’s parents looking to encourage family bonding time through group outings and home activities face steep competition with all of the electronic distractions keeping their children’s attention (although the two can occasionally be combined, such as using an online resource like Genealogy Bank to research family history together). The struggle to keep families connected, though difficult, is an extremely important aspect of modern parenting.
It should come as no surprise to most people that the more time parents spend with their children the more likely the kids will not engage in dangerous or delinquent behavior like sneaking out, shoplifting, skipping school, or running into trouble with the law. Take a look at some of the other big benefits of organizing regular family outings with some great examples of fun things to do with your family today.
What are the Biggest Benefits of The Family Outing?
Learning how to Listen and Cooperate
Children learn a lot simply by watching their parents and older siblings interact with one another and the rest of the world. A family outing makes for the perfect opportunity to model how you expect your children to behave in public, towards one another and others within your community. If you spend your time screaming and shouting at your partner or the store clerk, your children watch and learn how to do the same thing.
As a parent, following through on your promises greatly impacts your child and their future self-value. If you promise at least one day a week will be dedicated to family bonding time and then you actually show up and spend time with your children, they learn to view their family time as valuable and necessary.
They also learn that they are worth your time and effort and are more likely to maintain their own sense of self-value. This helps prevent them from falling in with “friends” that may not have their best interests in mind. It reinforces the importance of supporting your loved ones and being there for them when you say you will as well.
Many parents complain that their children do not communicate effectively. They may not open up to their parents, they may lie to them, or there may be consistent misunderstandings between the one talking and the one listening that leads to fruitless arguments. Spending more time together as a family where everyone practices active listening and sharing can greatly improve your communication skills in the long-term as a family and as individuals.
Reinforcing Mutual Respect
The family outing offers practical opportunities to reinforce mutual respect between parents and children as well as between siblings. If everyone behaves well and treats each other kindly, they get to have fun and play. If someone is tired and needs to rest, everyone respects that and accommodates them.
Children listen to the way you speak with your partner and when you maintain respect with them during difficult situations – or even when trying to figure out where to eat for lunch – your children learn how to conduct a respectful interaction.
Kids Stop Fighting with and without Parents Around
Regularly participating in family outings helps eliminate fighting between siblings even when the parents are not around. Since they do not need to compete with a television, computer, phone, or other activity to get their needed parental attention, they are less likely to act out in order to be seen.
Also, once you established the need for mutual respect, even between siblings, they are more likely to make compromises or find ways to work through their issues without fighting or yelling at one another.
Increase the Familial Bond
Solidifying your family bond is without a doubt the biggest benefit of regular family outings. Children are more likely to turn to you or other family members when they get into trouble or need advice if you have cultivated a supportive, loving environment where each member feels heard and valued.
Great Examples of Fun Things to Do with Family
If you’re looking for some great family fun ideas for your next outing consider the following:
- Visit a museum and allow everyone to pick a few things they really want to see and then everyone gets to view and discuss the piece or exhibit together.
- Get the kids outdoors for a picnic and have everyone help in preparing the meal.
- Plan a hike and have everyone document their favorite plants or animals and then share them when you get back.
- Build a soapbox race car, a treehouse, play with their favorite toys or find another project that you can all do together and allows each of them to identify and use their own special skills.