List-Making Activities to Celebrate Family and Connections

February 24th, 2012 by Dionna | 6 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Consensual Living, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family

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Welcome to February edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpie Mama. This month, participants have looked into the topic of “Fostering Healthy Attachment”. Please scroll down to the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants. Enjoy!

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One of the activities we did from our Advent calendar was to make a list of things we love about each family member. We made lists for both our family (me, Tom, Kieran, and Ailia) as well as my mom and two sisters. The lists were a hit – they allowed us reflect on what we love about each other, and everyone felt so special hearing what people love about us. We sat around one evening and read them out loud. (Yes, I cried.)

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • One thing Kieran loves about papa: I love to hug you so tight when we wrestle.
  • One thing papa loves about mama: I have really enjoyed movie nights with you and all the extra kissing and hugging and {censored}.
  • One thing mama loves about Kieran: I love your sense of humor – you can always make me laugh.
  • One thing Kieran loves about Ailia: I love watching you move, it reminds me of feeling you move in mama’s tummy.

I loved this activity so much, I want to do variations of it throughout the year. I’ve come up with several ideas, some of which could be used with both immediate family and with those who do not live in your home.

These lists are useful not only for reflecting on what we love about our families, but they can also spark ideas for family activities that will strengthen bonds, even across the miles. Doing these lists as a family can also help children become more cognizant of the fact that everyone has needs, and it can promote the idea that families help and are kind to each other.

Below are lists I have come up with – what ideas can you add?

  • 5 Things I Love About _____ (have each family member complete a list for every other family member)
  • 3 Activities I Like to Do With _____ (have each family member complete a list for every other family member)
  • My 3 Favorite Family Activities
  • 5 Ways I Like to Have People Show They Care About Me
  • 3 Things That Would Make Life Easier for Our Family (you could brainstorm this one together and commit to trying one idea a week)
  • 4 Things I Have Done to Be Kind to Others This Week (talk about this one in advance so that children have it on their minds)
  • 3 Things I’d Like to Do With _____ (this would be a good time to brainstorm how to connect with long-distance relatives)

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Visit Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • How To Keep in Touch With Distant Grandparents — Lauren at Hobo Mama offers several tips to foster connection with relatives who live far away.
  • Beyond Bonding: The Power of Positioning in Babywearing — Steffany, a babywearing educator, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains how optimal positioning in quality carriers can help babies’ physical growth, brain development, and overall attachment.
  • Playing Follow the Leader — Zoie at TouchstoneZ has learned that the more she meets her children where they are rather than where she would like them to be, the greater the elasticity of their bonds are.
  • The Evolution of Attachment: Parenting Without a Roadmap — Sheila at A Living Family reflects on her family’s recent generation of mothers and shares how she is working to make an evolutionary leap towards forming healthy attachment.
  • href="http://www.authenticparenting.info
    " target="_blank">Facilitating Sibling Connection
    — Laura at Authentic Parenting gives a set of pointers on how to facilitate sibling bonding.
  • href="http://www.hybridrastamama.com/2012/02/farm-in-my-bed.html

    " target="_blank">The Farm in my Bed — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses fostering children’s healthy attachment to “lovies” and comfort objects..

  • My Early Morning Shadow Valerie at Momma in Progress shares a few ways she maintains a strong connection with her almost six-year-old daughter.

6 Responses to:
"List-Making Activities to Celebrate Family and Connections"

  1. Amy G   mamagatzemeyer

    These are such a wonderful ideas! They remind me of the “love languages”. These lists would be a great way to find the love language of a younger child and help to figure out when you haven’t been filling someones love tank. Another idea that is a spin off of yours is creating a perfect day (this could be done through images/art).

  2. This is a great idea! I love that it acknowledges each person’s voice while honoring their relationships. They’ll also be such lovely keepsakes one day.

  3. Sarah   fthw

    I use these in my classroom, actually. Not only is it part of a writing center, but when we start to get kind of in a rut I’ll ask for a list of things they wish we were doing in our classroom. IT HAS CHANGED THE WAY MY ROOM WORKS.

  4. Dionna, I love this idea so much! It’s such a simple and profound way to overtly express our love and attachment. Thanks for sharing!

    -Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

  5. Ruth

    I was the very grateful recepient of one of those lists, and it will always have a special place in my heart!! You can make more of those kind of lists for me anytime!!!

  6. teresa   momgrooves

    I love this. I’m going to start doing this. Thank you. I really need ideas.

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