I still remember it like it was yesterday: the first Auburn University football game my parents ever took me to. At six, I found it astonishing to see my grown-up, serious daddy jump up and down and scream, “War Eagle!,” his team’s battle cry.
Over the years, following Daddy’s alma mater through football season became something we could agree on as a family when we could agree on nothing else. It was our passion, our fun, a source of great memories together, and a bond between us. Only now do I see how much it meant to our relationship.
Want your kids to look back on their time with you fondly? Then find a common interest you can enjoy together. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Camping and Hiking: You can enjoy the outdoors at almost any age, and it’s a great way to get in touch with nature and spend time together without the TV and other distractions.
2. Golf or Tennis: Playing any sport together can be fun, but these score higher because they tend to stay with you for a lifetime rather than falling away after adolescence.
3. Cooking Together: Time spent passing down grandma’s lighter-than-air biscuit recipe is fun and delicious. Your bond with your child might be a culinary connection.
4. Pillow Talk: When we ask our adult friends about their favorite childhood memories with parents, they frequently mention quiet talks—about anything—at bedtime. Subscribe to iMOM’s daily email, the Espresso Minute, to get a fresh pillow talk topic delivered to your inbox daily!
5. Rooting for the Team: If your family has a favorite high school, college or pro sports team, make watching the games and cheering them on part of your family story. And don’t forget the food!
6. Working for a Cause: Some families find that their favorite memories together are from volunteer or charitable work. Sign up together to help out at the shelter or help an elderly neighbor in need.
7. Make Music Together: Musical talent seems to run in families, and if that’s your story, you’re blessed. Time gathered around the piano singing carols and Christmas or strumming guitars on the porch is golden.
8. Biking or Jogging: Lots of adult runners talk about picking up the sport by trailing behind a running parent. A long, slow jog or bike ride provides lots of chances to talk or laugh, and build a family legacy of fitness.
9. Games: Learn a game the whole family can play and enjoy—king’s corners, hearts or spades. Go old-school with Battleship, Monopoly or Sorry.
10. Hobbies and Outings: Find a hobby you can share with your kids: going to the theater or museums, garage sales or antiquing, car and boat shows, fixing cars or building things together.