Families sometimes fall apart. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s about the importance of family bonds. Keeping our loved ones close is good for our mental health and our overall well-being. A strong family foundation means solid bonds between those we love the most, allowing us to move through life feeling assured, secure, and loved.
Living under the same roof doesn’t necessarily mean you have a strong family bond. Some siblings live in the same house but barely speak and can’t stand each other. Some people would do anything just to avoid family reunions. Building healthy relationships right from childhood is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your family bonds. As a parent, you play a key role in cultivating and protecting these family bonds.
Busy work days for parents and children as well can create barriers in family relationships. Building a strong family bond when schedules are full requires so much patience and effort. Spending time together with your family is a good thing, it is one of the greatest gifts families can give to one another. Sharing quality time does not only build and strengthen your family bonds but also provides a sense of belonging and security for everyone in the family.
Research has shown that when families enjoy activities together, children learn important social skills and also have higher self-esteem. Strong family bonds encourage better behaviour in children, improve academic performance, strengthen parent-child communication, and teach your child how to be a good friend.
5 Amazing Tips To Strengthen Your Family Bonds
1. Schedule Quality Family Time
Whether your children are of school-age or teens, it takes planning to make sure you’re getting enough quality time together. Spending time with the people you love most is good for your mental health and your self-esteem, it is something both children and adults will appreciate.
Look at everyone’s schedule to see if any free time can be designated as family time. You could choose one night of the week as a regular family night, maybe once a week, when the entire family gets together for a fun activity. By keeping this night on a regular schedule, everyone will know that they need to keep that night clear for family time.
Another way to incorporate family time into your schedule is to plan regular day trips. If this is something that sounds fun for your family, try to plan the trip for at least one month ahead. Post it on the family calendar and make sure that everyone is aware of the plan.
You can also use your time together to create family traditions, like Christmas card posting or enjoying a show at the theatre together once a month. Some families enjoy attending the same local festival every year or entering a 5K walk or run together. You can also try having a chat with your family to know what they will like or enjoy doing.
2. Eating Together As A Family
Over time, the number of households that eat together as a family is declining. Whether it’s late hours at the office, picky eaters in the house or preferring to eat in front of the TV, it’s a sad fact that many families don’t consider dining together.
It’s been proven that meal times shared are a great way to strengthen family bonds and enjoy conversations, increase levels of self-esteem, improve social skills and strengthen your family connections. If clashing schedules make dinner time together difficult, try to sit down together as many nights as possible during the week.
Meal time is an excellent place to share your day with your family. The dinner table should be a time where open communication takes place. Congratulate each other on accomplishments and encourage those who had a bad day. Kids who regularly eat meals with their family have higher academic scores and reduced use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
3. Do Household Chores Together As A Family
Learn to make cleaning your home and environment a responsibility the whole family should share. You can create a list of chores and have everyone in the family sign up. Then assign a time during the week or on the weekend when everyone in the family comes together to take on their tasks at the same time.
If your teenage children have a demanding schedule and need a little more flexibility, give them a deadline to have their chores completed. But have them know that doing chores together makes the job go much faster than doing them alone.
Other than being faster when doing chores together, it can also foster a sense of teamwork, especially if someone gets done early and is willing to help another family member complete their tasks. To make doing chores more exciting, plan a small reward for when the work is done like getting ice cream together, watching a movie, or playing a board game.
4. Support Your Children In Their Interest
Supporting a family member’s interests and passions is a good way to strengthen family bonds. Whether that means taking out time to attend their soccer games, reading a series of books they love, or helping them collect figurines from a movie or TV show, it is important to support your child’s interests.
If your child is in any school or church activity, provide support in any way possible. You don’t necessarily have to take on a leadership role. Find a way to show your kids that you support what they are doing and want to assist them with their pursuits, whatever those may be.
If you are unsure of how you can help them, ask your kids for their opinion. Just asking alone can go a long way and demonstrates that you care about the things they are interested in. The more supportive you are, and the more you show interest in your child’s pursuits and hobbies the stronger your family bonds will be.
5. Have A One-On-One Time With Each Family Member
Conversations with the entire family like those you have at dinnertimes are good, but individual chats with your partner and each child strengthen relationships as well. Don’t get stressed about scheduling this. Just sneak these one-on-one conversations in any time during the day, while on a walk, during morning coffee conversations, in the car, or whenever you find 10 or 15 minutes of free time together.
Knowing what is happening in your children’s and partners’ lives is a vital strategy to deepen your connection with each individual and strengthen the family bonds.
When you set aside special time for family fun and activities, you are not only demonstrating that you value the family, but that you value your children individually as well. There is no greater gift that you can give your family and no better way to strengthen your family bonds than by making your family a priority.
Family is important and should always come first. Strong families teach us how to function in the world. They provide us with warmth and support to celebrate achievements and to provide comfort during rough spots on the road.
Turn off the television and spend time communicating with those you love most. Spending time interacting with members of your family strengthens bonds, builds character and improves self-esteem. Kids thrive where they feel loved. Invest in those who mean the most to you.