Anyone who knows me knows that I am 100% family-oriented and that family comes before most anything else in my life. My wife, my four little ones, my mother, my in-laws, my uncles, these are all people who mean the world to me. To me, life is all about G-d, family, and helping others/Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).
With family being a top priority to me, bonding is all-important and so finding creative ways to bond is paramount, especially with two teen boys 12-13, and two little princesses 6-8. It’s sometimes difficult to find something that all four want to do uniformly because of the age differences, but we always work something out and have fun, and grow closer.
I am an artist by trade so I love doing art and arts and crafts with them, mainly because they can all take part and do something creative and fun. The act of creating something also helps to build self-confidence and gives them something to focus all of that young energy on. I love teaching them some of the art techniques that I use and seeing their eyes light up when they realize that they can do it too with a little practice.
Games are also a great bonding experience, I love video games, board games, trading card games, and tabletop RPGs, literally everything from Skyrim and chess to D&D and Magic the gathering. This always brings us together, helps us have a ton of fun, and gives us something to do together as a family. Gaming helps bring out the imagination, teaches sportsmanship, thinking creatively and strategically, fosters decision-making skills and so much more, in a fun atmosphere.
Reading Torah and books is another bonding experience and I cannot tell you how many times I have read Dr. Suess’s books and Jewish kid’s books to my littles. Torah is a new addition to reading time, and the kids are always insightful, inquisitive, and eager to learn.
Kids grow up far too quickly, so it’s important to me to create a nurturing environment and to build strong bonds that are always growing stronger. Family bonding is something that cannot be overstated in its importance, as it allows the family to support each other, to know we can trust each other through anything, and see to it that each feels a part of the collective whole. We want our kids to know that we love them and that they can come to us to tell us anything, and building adamant bonds facilitates that, especially when talking is paired with fun.