How to Bond as a Family
When I was a kid I said to my father one afternoon, “Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?” He answered, “If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.” — Jerry Lewis
Another untouchable you need to create is a weekly family night. The goal is to do something fun together. Rent a movie and cook popcorn for a family movie night at home. Or take a family walk around the village. Or play a game together. Monopoly. Pictionary. Patintero (a Filipino street game). Or read a book out loud. Or just order pizza and ask everyone to share what's happening with them around the table. When you do this each week, you're creating memories that will last a lifetime. Life is about moments. And believe me, your grown-up kids will never forget these special bonding moments as a family. It will be their anchor. It will be their source of emotional stability. That amidst the sea of change around them, they know that there are just some things in life that don't change. Like the memories of being together as family.
Here's one more tip before I end.
Invite Your Kids' Friends to Hang Out at Home
You've got to be the cool Mom and Dad — even if you're not. How? Make your home the preferred hangout place for your kids' friends. I know it'll cause a little dent on your budget. OK, I lied. It will make your life savings disappear. A group of teens are like a pack of piranha. They will eat anything that looks like food in your kitchen cabinets. And if your kids come home all tired and sweaty from a basketball game, be forewarned. That is a perfect storm. You will become poor overnight. You can buy all the food in your city and it won't be enough. They'll just burp and ask for more. But the rewards are incredible. First, you're with your kids more. Second, you know where your kids are. Third, you get to know their friends — and counsel the troubled ones. If they lack parenting, you can re-parent them. (I'm sharing with you a powerful secret: One of the best ways of influencing your kids is to influence their friends.) Fourth, because of all the racket your guests make, you and your neighbors will not be on speaking terms. So that's one or two people dropped from your Christmas shopping list. Savings!
Two Choices: Drift or Paddle
I can hear you now. "Bo, this is a lot of hard work! Weekly dates with my wife and kids? Feeding a pack of piranhas? And reparenting the friends of my kids? My gosh!" I warned you. It's going to be tough. But let me repeat what I said at the start: You really only have two choices in life. You either drift or you paddle. You either pay now or pay later. I've decided to paddle. I've decided to pay now. Believe me, I'm enjoying the benefits. My relationships are deeply satisfying. Friend, it's your turn. Start paddling.
Your Assignment: Give Your Time
Choose a family member you want to spend more time with. Give the Relationship Reborn card #3 to that person. If necessary, make copies of this card and give it to the other special people in your life. You'll never regret it.