by Mekelle Tenney
We’ve all heard the cliché “the family that plays together stays together”. Normally I don’t buy into cliché’s. But I make an exception for this one, because it’s true. I believe that families have specific needs in order to create life long bonds. And having fun together is one of those needs. The other day I was having a conversation with my husband and he said something that has really stuck with me, “families need to go through the good times so they can make it through the hard times.” There are of course a number of things that help a family get through hard times and I don’t mean to imply that fun will make our families bomb proof. It does, however, provide many benefits.
Having fun together allows family members to connect. I great example of this in my own life has been archery. My Dad taught me and my four brothers archery at a young age. In fact, one night when I was four and Mom was away my Dad decided to do some tweaking to my bow. He put an arrow on, told me to pull it back and to not let go……well I was four and I couldn’t hold it that long so I released the arrow and it went straight into the living room wall. After that Mom made a rule about shooting archery in the house. But the point is that my Dad used archery to connect with his children. We all had a common interest, it was something we could all do, and it created opportunities for us to grow closer. We all still shoot together when we visit Mom and Dad’s house. And now the grandkids are learning.
- Positive Memories
Shortly after my husband and I were married my Grandma passed away. It was very sudden and unexpected. My husband had only met her a few times. After many tears I started to share memories with him of her. I talked about her personality, her strong faith, her example, and of course I shared stories of all the adventures we had with her. Stories of going to the lake, four wheeling, and camping. That night I spoke with each of my brothers and my parents and we all reminisced about the good times. The positive memories turned her passing into a positive moment. Like my husband said, the good times get you through the hard times.
- Emotional Bank Account
I don’t claim to be a relationship expect but I have read about the idea of the emotional bank account. I’ve heard about it mostly in terms of marriage but I think it applies to really any kind of family relationship. Having fun together is one way to make a huge deposit in your family bank account. When differences arise and quarrels happen withdrawls are made. Don’t ever go in the red when it comes to family relationships.
- Invest in What You Love
Time is an investment, invest in what you love, spend time with those you love. I believe that quality time is one of everyone’s love languages. My daughter is one-year-old and her young uncles are quickly learning that if they want to get on her good side they have to put in the time. They have to take the time to sit down and play with her. This is how it is with most children. Even at young ages they see the time you spend with them as a show of affection.