“There are seasons to our life.”
This is what Joy Tanchi Mendoza shared when she and her husband Edrick were on stage during their slot for our recent 2be1 Couples’ Enrichment weekend in Baguio.
She was actually referring to the choices that they have made together for their family in terms of home schooling, career choices, and even her writing. It made so much sense to me. It actually reminded me of another saying I have heard before when referring to parenting.
“The days are long but the years are short.”
Joy shared how challenging some of her days are. She has five kids. I think she knows what challenging is. She and her husband had to make some hard choices and even some sacrifices so that they could both be present as parents. So they could create and witness all the glory and wonder of the childhood that they are providing for their family of 5 kiddos.
I get it.
As a mom, I make big and little decisions on a daily basis for what is good for my kids. Sometimes, it comes with a little less sleep (because I want to prepare their lunches) or even a lot more effort, (because I like to cook our meals).
We are the memory makers. The dream shapers. And we do this all through different moments we are gifted with. Some of these moments are teachable moments. Some of these moments can even just be time to bond.
QUALITY TIME IS BONDING TIME.
Here are some ideas and activities that we can do as a family to nurture the relationships my kids have with each other, and the relationship that I have with each of them.
When Nino was at the height of riding bikes, we all rode with him. Now that the kids are a little older, we can take the time to go to the gym together. We can play basketball together. And even take walks after dinner together. I like taking walks in the early morning or in the afternoon when the sun isn’t glaring down on us, but honestly, anytime we get moving together as a family is a great opportunity to stay fit and to bond.
Getting the kids in the kitchen is not just a good idea to help them make healthier choices, it’s also a great way to get kids talking.
I spent most of the day on Monday baking for a shoot which took place on Tuesday. Of course, I had some helping hands in the kitchen. Cute. Little. Hands. With chubby fingers. This little girl has changed my perspective on life. She has changed my world. Shifted my paradigm. And made me a better person. I just didn’t know what a wonderful gift God gave me through her extra chromosome. I sure do know it now. And I’m thankful. Thankful she chose me to be her momma. #grateful #iloveher #gellibean #t21 #downsyndromeawareness #downsyndromelove #instacool #instagood #instareal #parenting #specialneedsawareness #funinthekitchen #kidsinthekitchen #latergram
When we are in the kitchen as a family, there is synergy.
A sense of team work…
We play music while we cook or bake. It’s a happy time for us. When we have the chance to prepare our meals together, I know that everyone is much more conscious of their eating habits, the things that they put into their bodies, and also how that makes each of them feel.
It is important for the kids to understand that the food that fuels them has a direct correlation in how they feel. Whether they have energy, or if they are foggy from too much sugar, and even if their digestive system is affected, it is important they recognize the one to one correlation of what they put into their bodies and how they feel physically.
Cooking together is a bonding activity that reaps many benefits.
Sometimes, if everyone is in a really good mood, then we may even dance a little in the kitchen too…
These are just a few of the games that we like to play when someone calls a “Game Night.”
Actually, we have a whole cabinet, full of board games which span across all the kids’ ages. I think the thing I love most about this, is that we are sure to disconnect from social media and the electronics. (Except for the occasional photo snap for IG, like the one above. hehehehe.)
Movie Nights are perfect for sitting around in the living room. Miggy makes truffle cheese popcorn for everyone, and if I’m lucky, I get to cuddle one of my kiddos while we watch the movie of choice for the evening.
Recently, we all watched The Shack together. It was a movie rich with lessons in faith, love, and even loss. Actually, if I think about how it was for all of us to watch this movie together, I dare say it was a healing experience for everyone.
Taking the opportunity to use the movies that we watch as a family to reinforce lessons or values we want our children to embody, is an added perk. Some of the movies we like to watch are by Christian movie makers. It’s been incredibly helpful as our children grow.
When we hear of a new movie or a friend shares something that she has watched which was helpful in her own child rearing, I call my friend Kaye up, and ask her if they have that movie in stock.
Some of the movies we have watched as a family are:
The War Room
Facing the Giants
For those of you who know me, you know I love to dance. I always have. Even as a teenager, my cousin, Triccia and I would enter the talent shows held in our high school, putting together routines with our friends for the stage.
We even did this at home for our relatives who were willing to be our “audience.”
Dance like No One is Watching?
Perhaps, that’s another reason why we love to go to our Best Buddies Philippines Dance Nights together.
The time spent dancing it out, maybe even getting a little sweaty.
Copying dance moves.
It feels good.
Family bonding doesn’t have to be elaborately planned, nor terribly expensive.
While many of our family memories have been created when we are on vacation, or doing something special, like celebrating a milestone occasion, these moments are not made extraordinary by the amount of money we spend to bond with our kids.
In fact, all of these activities, don’t cost a dime. We can do them at home, comfortably. Perhaps even in my yoga pants. Now, that makes it even a little easier, doesn’t it?