Lately I've been noticing that the older children of many friends' families are missing from family outings. We just had a family outing with a group of friends and I noticed that none of our friends' young adult children were there, only the younger teens and those younger were there. What is a family outing without all the family members?
While it's true that older children have their own interests and want to spend time doing them, it's highly important to spend time with family as well on family outings. How often do you go on family outings anyway? It's not as if it's every weekend so I'm sure the older children can 'sacrifice' one day or one weekend every few months to spend time with the family.
We once had a visitor and was asked how my parents kept us all together even on weekends now when we're adults. What is it that makes us want to spend time together, even now? Well my sisters and I looked at each other and tried to come up with an answer. At that time, we were surprised by the question and we couldn't pinpoint the exact answer.
I often thought about that question and I intinctively knew the answer had to do with spending quality time together as a family unit, even when we were unmarried young adults still living at home.
I remember weekends when my parents said we had to go visit someone or attend an outing that we all packed into the car. It didn't mattered whether we were still little children or teenagers or were in universities or newly in the workforce. It was the same. Without question we headed out together.
We got so used to doing things together that we still cluster together. I don't see this in families anymore. As soon as their children are in the senior years at high school and older, they stop attending these family functions.
My eldest is now a teenager and in a couple of years he'll be in senior high school. My fervent hope is that he'll still want to spend time with us on our family functions and outings and that we won't be a family with a missing member.
I've said this before, "The faimly that plays together, stays together".
If you need some ideas on where to go and what to do together as a family then my book 'Family Fun Activity Guide' will give you a few.