No one has to tell you that there is less time than ever to spend with your family. Between hectic work schedules, school schedules, extracurricular activities, sports and special events that one family member or another has obligations for, it is hard to find the time to even sit down to dinner at the same time.
After weeks and months of this schedule, your family can start to lose touch with one another and that is when it is time to schedule some outdoor recreation for the whole family.
At least once a month, more often if you can get everyone’s schedule aligned, plan on taking an outing that will include every member of the family. Even the family dog can tag along! Make some hard fast rules for taking a family trip together. Ensure that video games, portable DVD players, CD players, iPods, laptops and other electronic equipment are left at home.
Books, magazines and reading material is fine for the drive. Ditch everyone’s cell phones at home except for your own and your spouse’s. That way, in case of an emergency, you’ll still be able to communicate. Make a solemn promise to yourself, no business calls and no text messages while you’re on family time. Try to include outdoor recreation fun that everyone can enjoy such as boating, skiing, hunting and fishing.
Deer hunting is an outdoor recreation that brings many families together, as many families enjoy hunting as a whole, boys and girls alike. Since your away from the stresses of every day and the kids are not buried in their video games or cell phones, you’ll find yourselves talking and reconnecting.
Ask your kids what is going on in school and get their views on current events – it might surprise you how “in the know” they actually are. Also, make hunting a learning experience and remind your kids that there were not always grocery stores to go to for supplies. The early pioneers had to eat basically whatever they could hunt and sometimes it was deer and sometimes it was squirrel – hence the term, “varmint hunting.”
Using outdoor recreation is a wonderful way to get your spouse away from the television, yourself away from the pressures of work and get your kids out of the habit of playing video games or surfing the web. You can maintain family connections and make them strong with regular family gatherings that get everyone together to enjoy the great outdoors.