It is important to do things together as a family. This strengthens your bond and ensures that children don't just associate good times with friends.
When someone asks what you did over the weekend, most parents have the same answer. Either they sat at home and watched a few movies, or went out with friends while the children spent all day playing with their friends.
Although there's nothing wrong with this picture, it helps to understand that your children will consequently associate fun and holidays with friends, not with family.
Make it a point to do something together as a family, over the weekends. Of course, you should not prevent your children from hanging out with friends - that is not desirable or healthy. But you should try and make the time spent together as a family into something more enjoyable than just sitting around in the same room and chatting every now and again.
You don't have to make sure your children are around you the entire day. It is just as desirable for them to bond with their friends, as it is to spend time with you.
Plan something fun to do every Saturday or Sunday. If you are busy, you don't need to plan something very elaborate. Here are some ideas.
Eating out is a great way to spend time together. When you are at a restaurant there will be no television, reading on the table, phone calls, door bells and servant interruptions to distract from the experience of sitting together on a table. In addition, the very act of deciding which restaurant to go to, what cuisine to eat, is enjoyable in itself. Don't opt for a Mc Donald's every time. Not only is fast food unhealthy, but trying new restaurants also helps introduce your child to various cuisines. In addition, the charm of eating out rarely diminishes, and your kids will be excited and raring to go, each time!
Plan to take your child for a movie once or twice a month. Kids love movies, and movies can often be very educative, as they give your child an insight into another world. Read up a little on the subject matter of the movie, and discuss it afterwards. So if you go to watch Pirates of the Caribbean with your children, read up a little on pirates and their history, and discuss this with your children after the movie.
Out of town
For a change, visit a nearby destination and spend the day or the weekend there. Wherever you live, there are sure to be innumerable places worth a visit, that are located just a few hours away. It is amazing that so many people who live in Bombay have never visited Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar or Matheran, although these are perfect weekend destinations.
Most of us travel the world to sightsee, but haven't visited any of the famous tourists spots in our own cities. For example, few Bombayites have been to the Elephanta Caves. Spend a few hours visiting a museum or other city spot with your child, explain the historical significance of the spot, and treat him to an ice cream!