The Family Proclamation to the world says, “Successful …families are established and maintained on… wholesome recreational activities.”   Recreational activities should not be created to escape but to bring families closer together. ” We seem to be connected to the whole world electronically yet disconnected to those closest to us.” ( Successful Marriages and Families)  Choose activities that will help produce stronger family relationships.  

Find activities that promote family growth and development. “Psychologist and social philosophers describe contemporary happiness as…the pursuit of comfort, pleasure and wealth in the form of material good.  Many of us have seen a pattern of behavior where a parent….engages obsessively in recreation apart from the family.”  While cruises may be fun and relaxing for the family, working together can actually create a strong family relationship even though it isn’t always fun.  (Successful Marriages and Families)  Doing activities with the family creates lasting memories over one doing something alone, the memory only last with that one person.  

 Research has shown that independent activities have a negative effect on marriages, especially for wives.  “Wholesome family recreation can be diminished or enhanced by the choices we make.” When thinking of recreational activities think of one that promotes interaction, communication, develop skills, face challenges, create memories, share traditions and beliefs, spending time together, and cooperation.   Spend quality play time with your children, teach them good sportsmanship, fair play, and kindness.  Children mimic the behaviors they learn from their parents and how you choose to play during recreational time will be how your child plays later on in their life as well.  

What are some types of recreational activities your family can enjoy?  Canoeing tennis, chess, rock climbing, movie night, board games, hikes, bike rides, basketball, soccer, gardening and the list can go on and on.  Find activities that promote communication, interaction, and cooperation.  (Successful Marriages and Families)   A few years ago we started a garden.  I was a learning experience for the whole family because none of us had gardened before.  Our children loved to work with us, pulling the weeds, watering, cutting the lettuce, picking the strawberries, and wishing the carrots to grow.  We didn’t realize how much our garden would help our family grow.  Find the recreational activities that work for you.   

 Successful Marriages and Families says, “Joint recreational activities involve high levels of communication and interdependence.”  I am not a huge fan of video games but my children like to play them so once in a while I do it for them.    We make sure that the video games are for everyone and is usually for four or more players.  Finding games like this can help you communicate and work together while doing something your children enjoy.  

Last night our children were playing together and I was just observing.  During that conversation, our daughter says, “I’m not with you how sad.”  Then I hear “You’re my brother I will wait for you.”  Later my son says, “Yes you’re here with me.”  I couldn’t help to think, even though I am not a fan of video games, what kind of relationships they were building.  They were working together and even in a virtual world, they didn’t want to be without one another.  These joint activity, even though it is not my favorite and should be limited, was bringing us all together.  

 There are so many benefits to recreational activities.  “Research has shown…recreational activities involving the family are central to families of every kind.  They found a positive relationship between the quality of family relationships and a family participation…(which) enhances communication, interaction, satisfaction, problem-solving, trust and love.”  Our family built our home together.  My brothers worked hard to on the framing of the home, while I helped with some of the wirings, learning to lubricate to keep the wires together as my brother pulled.  We played baseball in the yard together, make me laugh, went to dodger games, went to the beach, and worked often together.  We still continue to get together once a year and do recreational activities at our family reunion.  “Research has shown that family satisfaction with current levels of leisure involvement is a strong predictor of overall satisfaction with family life, even when accounting for income, marital status, age, and history of divorce.”  (Successful Marriages and Families)

With our children now I have kept these activities alive that I learned in my childhood.  We work together, we do puzzles, we eat together, have weekly family home evenings, Friday night movie nights, cook together, and have a number of traditions.  Take the time now to build strong family relationships now.  It is never too late to seek wholesome recreational activities that will bring your family closer together.  Be sure to look for joint activities that promote communication, and interdependence to bring your family closer together and create memories that will last beyond a lifetime.  

Image: Family Time

Source: Successful Marriages and Families 

 

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