When it comes to making our families closer, deep down we know what works - and we know that we should be prioritising that time more. But we have our own lives, your parents - likely delighted you've flown the nest! - are also enjoying their time and your siblings may avoid the family home unless absolutely necessary. So, what can we do to keep the once close-knit clan together for a little bit longer? (And yes, even an hour a week counts as sufficient quality time, in our book). We suggest coming up with five fun (though the fun-ness may be debatable depending on said family member) activities that will happily force and/or encourage you all to spend time together, such as the below:
Organise group exercise Sundays
It sounds like hell and in reality, it usually is, but you'll all suffer and laugh at the same time while getting fit. The joy! Plus, there's less chance of anyone backing out unless they want to endure months of slagging from well-intended parents and siblings.
'Professional' tea-making hour
There's always that one person in the family who is the go-to tea maker - it's quite extraordinary when they do it - but maybe, they've had enough. They are having nightmares about soggy teabags and they want the rest of the clan to take some responsibility so they organise an hour - yep, it'll take that long - where they show every family member the ropes - and the perfect way to dunk that biscuit in, too. There'll be rows, tea, delicious soggy biscuits and family time well spent.
Go and do the weekly shop together
It is an activity in itself - the fun part can't always be guaranteed, of course - and a necessary evil, and one from which great memories are made. The rows over the cereal, which biscuits to buy and your mam exasperatingly (and repeatedly) telling you to PUT IT BACK even though you're old enough to know better. It's not always fun but it is time spent together that isn't easily forgotten.
A movie night is always a good idea
We're calling this a sit-down activity which makes this one a totally viable choice. This'll make the older ones protest - A LOT - but it all comes down to the choice of film, so pick this wisely or be it on your head at every future movie night forever more. Choosing the film that everyone has fond memories of will go down well - but trading embarrassing stories associated with said film will not, so go easy.
Make the family holiday happen
We're tagging this one on at the end because these are filled with countless activities to partake in - and it's always harder to slope off and refuse when you're away! Tell the older kids they can have their own room in the accommodation to sweeten the deal if you must. This may be forced family time - in which many activities will be undertaken together - sneakily planned by you but if you're going to all endure each other for two full weeks, it's easier to do from a beach... Right?