Connection: The gift that keeps on giving
Always have that one person on your Christmas list that’s hard to buy for? Can’t figure out what to get them? This Christmas instead of giving another gift that will end up being returned or used in the office secret Santa (you know you do it) try giving the gift that keeps on giving; the gift of connection. Connection is about emotionally meeting the other person where they’re at and being with them in that space. Connection is vital for happy and healthy relationships with your spouse and your kids. It seems that connection is harder and harder to achieve with busy schedules and the increasing use of technology. However, the holidays are a perfect time to slow down and work on our connection. So how do we connect? Here are a few great ways to connect with your spouse and kids over the holiday season.
1. Family Holiday Traditions
If you don’t have any already, make sure you start some great holiday traditions with your family. Watch Christmas movies, bake cookies, drive around looking at Christmas lights, etc. Set up traditions that you and your family look forward to every year.
2. Day trip/activity with the kids
With kids out of school, this is a perfect time to do some of those day activities you never seem to fit in during the rest of the year. Take a day off work and go to the zoo or aquarium. Take the kids to the park and out to lunch. Go bowling or to a fun holiday movie in the theater. Create a memory and experience instead of just giving them more stuff.
3. Spend some one on one time with your spouse
Grandparents in town or want to watch the kids for the night? Great! Use that time for a date night to reconnect with your spouse. Weekends full of office holiday parties? Have fun and enjoy! Grab dessert or coffee after the party and use that time to spend with your spouse. We tend to make holidays “all about the kids” so it’s important to carve out some alone time for you and your partner. This date night can help you recharge and reconnect going into the new year.
4. Turn off the electronics
Have a no phone Friday or go out without your iPad and electronics. Foster an environment for real connection by focusing on each other, not your phones. Obviously, you can’t complete shut off everything all the time but designated some uninterrupted electronic free time for you and your kids and spouse. Use this time to talk, connect, and create memories.
5. Think quality not quantity
It can feel really disheartening when your kids get two weeks off school and you can barely take a day from work. Don’t let that stop you from trying to connect. Connection is about quality time not the amount of time. A few days of strong connection and memory making over winter break are MUCH better than a whole week of little connection and communication. Make the time you do have count by focusing on our child/spouse. Use open ended questions to communicate. Enjoy each other as a family by doing something fun (see number 1 & 2). Show affection and appreciation. Quality connection, even in small doses, can lay the foundation for happy and healthy relationships.
If you and your family are struggling with connection or getting along, let Building Blocks Family Counseling help you reconnect. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.