As you move through high school, you may realize you are getting closer and closer to moving out of your family home and into the real world. After high school, you’ll be spending less time watching Netflix and telling your parents to buy caramel popcorn from the grocery store, and more time exploring the giant world with your newfound freedom. It’s an exhilarating thought for you as much as it is for your parents, and sometimes it can get a bit sappy. And maybe you’re groaning and rolling your eyes as your mom starts to say, “In a couple of years you won’t be spending your birthday with us,” with tears in her eyes, but family is important and it should be a priority to spend time with each other before you set off into the great unknown. You might be thinking, “I’m too cool to spend time with my family”, but you’re wrong.
It’s important to have quality family time and besides, they may turn out to be a lot cooler than you think. So how do you spend time with your family to really get to know them?
1. Make a meal (from scratch!).
Cooking is a great way to bond, and when the meal is made from scratch, you can spend a ton of time with your loved ones. You can use the time to just talk and get to know them better. You can get to know which foods they still love and which ones they’ve outgrown or which flavors make them gag or sing. If you decide to cook a new meal to share, it can be a great learning experience, and every time you eat that meal, you can look back and remember that time you made it with your family member.
2. Go to a restaurant with them.
If you are not the cooking-from-scratch type, you can always just go out to a great restaurant. Unlike cooking, you can focus your full attention on your family while waiting for your food. Restaurants give the perfect vibes for talking, especially if its a favorite of the family. Ask questions! Use this time to get to really know them as a person rather than a family member.
3. Have a television series marathon.
Lets say your family has never seen Harry Potter, Breaking Bad, or Sherlock. Introduce it to them! Shows and movies are great things to bond over. You can watch it together or on your own time, but make sure to talk to them about it and their opinions on it. You can also read books together and discuss them, just like a small, private, totally awesome book club. Get them to read The Hunger Games series rather than just watching the movies. I’m sure they’ll thank you.
4. Go to a concert, museum, or movie.
There are so many museums and exhibits with all kinds of themes and subjects. If you’re a boating kind of family, go to a boating museum. If you all love science, go to a science exhibit. Expose your family members to different cultures at art museums or new music they may like at music venues. Movies are also a great way to spend time together, especially if it’s a movie you are both dying to see.
5. Go on a small weekend vacation.
Planning a trip can be a ton of work. Instead of planning a huge trip for a break, go on a small weekend trip. It can be to a nearby lake, the beach, the mountains, or anywhere relaxing for all of you. Small vacations are nice little breaks after hectic times at work or school. You don’t have to plan as much, but can still have a lot of fun! Instead of being glued to your phone or checking if the Wifi works, you can engage in activities with your family, talk, and really bond.
These, of course, are just a few ideas to connect with family members, and you don’t have to do everything on the list. Even doing small things for your family members can lead to stronger bonds in your relationships. Maybe you just want your dad to know you’re thankful for letting you drive his car or your sister to know that it was really cool of her to help you with your calculus homework. You can make a cake, take them out to eat, or just make them a quick bowl of cereal in the morning. Whether its going out to coffee, having a movie marathon, or going on a ski trip, make time for your family. You won’t have them this close forever.