“Just like at camp, connections are the result of intentionally chosen, day-to-day family habits that create feelings of warmth and belonging.”
–Happy Campers Secret #1: Connection Comes First
One of my favorite connection tips (besides unplugging) is having a daily family sharing habit. I’ve honed my ideas on this topic over many years of practice around campfires at summer camp and around my own family’s dinner table.
How to Start a Daily Family Sharing Practice
Step 1: Find a time each day – dinner or bedtime are often good times to set up a consistent sharing practice – to spend just a few minutes sharing with each other.
Step 2: Establish ground rules for sharing. Include the practices of one person speaking at a time and everyone else listening to the person speaking. Especially at first, your kids may need a few reminders not to interrupt. You can pass around a “talking stick” or “talking pepper shaker” to indicate who’s turn it is.
Step 3: Pick one topic or sharing practice and stick with it until it becomes a habit. Then you can think about switching it up.
Step 4: Persist. Your kids (especially if they are pre-teens or teenagers) will likely balk when you start your daily sharing practice. They may try to undermine the practice by sharing lame comments. Stay strong. Your kids will eventually learn to appreciate (and look forward to) your daily sharing practice. Even when they don’t show it on the outside, they will eventually (and that could be years from now!) come to appreciate having a time each day when caring people listen to what they have to say.
My Favorite Daily Sharing Topics
KINDNESS: Each person shares something kind they did and/or something kind someone else did for them.
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