Updated: Mar 6, 2019
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY?
Happy families have strong family bonds. Whether we agree or not, families have a huge influence on the way we think, behave and relate with each other even as adults. Therefore, a family can build us up or tear us down easily than we think. As the leaders of a family, parents have to be responsible for strengthening and protecting these bonds. It doesn't happen naturally in our hectic day-to-day lives, it requires effort and persistence. Here are some tips to help you get started.
1) BE A ROLE MODEL
Any change should begin with US. Parents or any other person in charge of raising a family must set the family rules and promote accepted behaviors to all family members. We must set authority but must also provide trust. We are the person our spouse and kids will turn to whenever they have a problem or need advise. Within the family, bigger brothers and sisters can also become role models to the smaller kids. Family disputes are open opportunities for members to learn from their mistakes, to say I´m sorry, and learn to forgive one another.
2) SEARCH FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT
Get involved with your family´s interests. If you have kids, do they participate in any sport team? What are their hobbies? What do they enjoy most doing? Do you like to play board games?
The power of family games in building relationships can never be underestimated. One of our favorite games that enhances family time is the Integrafun pin pong set, which is suitable for all ages and genders. This 4-player set has everything you need to start having fun!
Don´t be afraid to ask your family: What do you need from me? Find new ways to connect with each other.
3) WORK ON YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Love and respect for each other are among the most important elements for a solid family foundation. Understanding that we are different from each other and also have some similarities is a good starting point. Learn to love everyone as they are. If a family member has a behavior that disturbs the rest, open communication must flow in order to help this person understand how this attitude can be modified. Practicing gratefulness is also a great way to create stronger family bonds: a daily prayer, reading a motivational quote, and meditation can only take a few minutes and it will benefit the whole family.
4) ENHANCE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Communication is the key to every happy home. A good way to boost the communication level within the family is to have frequent family meetings where each member of the family is encouraged to share different ideas and thoughts on a certain topic. This is also an indirect way for members to comment about their feelings and how a family can support someone if needed. Choose any anecdote that will help you break the ice for specific topics you would like to address within your family.
5) CREATE AND FOLLOW FAMILY TRADITIONS
A family tradition is any activity that the entire family engages in over and over again to the extent that it becomes part of their lives. Raising children can be much easier when you make them follow some routine regularly. After some time, it will become part of them, and they could even stick to after leaving home. Some examples of Family Traditions are: family gatherings to celebrate Birthdays and special occasions such as Thanksgiving, cooking together a special recipe, planning an annual trip during vacations, exercising together on weekends, participating in a Sports Team, or attending Sport events together. Family Traditions are important in developing good self-esteem and sense of belonging.
6) EAT TOGETHER
Studies have shown that eating meals together helps reinforce communication. Choose a few nights during the week when you expect everyone to gather around the dinner table. Then you could take turns to select a topic for discussion. And encourage each member of the family to express their thoughts and start a conversation. You can also choose a member to host a dinner or breakfast during weekends, and that person will be responsible for cooking something special for the family.
7) DO CHORES AS A FAMILY
Make your family accountable by participating in home chores. Create a list of duties and assign it to each family member with a time frame for each chore to be completed. This will not only build communication among the youngest in the family, but it will also help them to have a sense of responsibility and independence. You can perform a family project like painting a wall, making a photo collage, or plant some flowers together.
8) CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENTS
Set the foundation for encouraging and supporting one another. Go and cheer your kids at a sports tournament, celebrate your family´s education degrees, set and accomplish new personal challenges. It is never to late to learn new things; with your family´s support you will feel more motivated to achieve your goals. Take family pictures to remember each of your victories.
9) TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
In our busy schedules, looking for spending quality family time becomes a challenge. However, you must know that the way you feel will impact those around you. This being said, strive for personal balance. As parents /tutors we have a great responsibility of taking care of our family but we must also learn to take care of ourselves Why shouldn´t we? After all we will not want to end up ¨burned out¨ by giving priority to others except ourselves. We need to rest: exercise, read a book, take a hot bath, go to a spa, practice a hobbie, go out with friends; these are activities that will help you RESET from your daily routine.
10) DON¨T TAKE LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY
Family bonding activities must flow in a natural way without making pressure over any family member if they do not want to participate. LAUGH! Yes I mean it! Tell jokes, remember funny anecdotes, tease yourselves. Life is too short so consider enjoying it!! You do not need to spend any money to strengthen your family ties, simple activities as taking a walk together, watching a movie, making any family project, and trying new things, will be enough for connecting. Try thinking outside the box and you may get surprised with many unique family-bonding ideas.
Click HERE for ideas of activities that will help you connect with your family.