Amy Rees Anderson

Forced Family Bonding

Last week my family and I went down to spend a glorious week at Lake Powell with a group of friends.  We had a great trip, and although we all came home with colds…yet again…the trip was worth it.  We had gone down to Powell a few days before our guests arrived because we wanted to spend a little time alone as a family – my children teasingly refer to this time alone together as “Forced Family Bonding”. They have been throwing that term out a lot this summer to tease us for the large number of family activities we have been doing as we try to maximize our time together before our two kids leave for college at the end of summer.  When they first threw the term down my response was “That is exactly what we are doing! And I am not ashamed to say it!!”

The fact is that as parents today you literally have to be willing to actually force some family bonding time to happen or it never will.  Our lives are all full of a million things to do, projects to finish, not to mention cell phone texting and emailing and the never ending game of Candy Crush playing that our teenagers are playing.  There are so many things that go on every week that literally fill up every second of your day, every day of the week.  I don’t know a single person that thinks they have time in life to spare – do you?  Everyone is busy…crazy busy…insanely busy.  That is just the high tech, fast paced world we live in.  And so every now and then you have to be willing to say “STOP! We are going to have forced family bonding time.”

When we look back on our lives I can guarantee we will never look back and wish we had spent more time at work, or more time watching TV, or more time shopping online, or more time playing video games, or any of those things.  When we look back on our lives we will wish we had spent more time with our families and our loved ones.  We will regret the times we wasted on meaningless things when we could have been doing something to deepen our relationships with one another.

My baby girl is leaving home in a week and a half to go to college.  My son who just returned from a mission is going to do the same.  And all I can do is wish I had done more forced family bonding moments over the years!  But we can’t go back and get that.  So start today and start forcing that bonding!  I can tell you that I will forever treasure the family bonding time we have had this summer…forever…

Have a great week and don’t forget to BOND!


  • Denny Thurman says:

    Amy, nice, we only get to do this once. I know you focused on family in front of business this summer. Stick with it, trust your instincts. Ten years from now your kids will be enjoying the connection and family you envisioned. Best, Denny

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