A strong and happy family unit if one of the greatest gifts you can give to your loved ones. Over the past few decades, the family unit has seen enormous erosion as several families are separated by divorce.
While divorce is sometimes justified if the relationship is toxic, such separations can bring enormous stress on the children. Even so, children can be raised healthily in both single and two-parent homes.
Here are some of the simple things you can start doing today to bring your family closer:
Create an Environment That Promotes Open Conversation
In families where people are not open with each other and are not willing to share what they think or feel, family members bottle up their frustrations and may begin to resent their family members if they do not find an outlet to release their frustrations.
You want to create a home where people are free to share whatever is on their minds. Your children should respect you and not fear you. Using fear to control your children’s behavior will make them less likely to share unpleasant experiences or things they think may annoy you.
Being present as a parent involves more than just being physically available. Many parents today spend a lot of time looking at their television or phone screens instead of giving their children the attention they need.
Being mentally present when you are around your children allows you to understand where they are mentally and emotionally since most of their concerns will go unsaid and can only be noticed if you pay attention to their body language.
Your family will be able to form stronger connections when people feel listened to and valued. The easiest way to let your children know that you highly value them is to give them your undivided attention.
Take Family Vacations
Taking a family vacation is an easy and accessible way to build stronger relationships with your family members while having lots of fun. You will be able to create and share amazing memories that will last with you for a lifetime.
If you work long hours and find it hard to find time to spend with your family members, you can take a few weeks off during the year to give your family undivided attention during a vacation. The kind of vacation you choose to go to will depend entirely on what you want as a family. Beach vacations are always a good idea.
There are several all-inclusive packages in the Caribbean that cater exclusively to families. This means you can spend time together as a family, but your kids can bond with other kids staying at the resort. This is a great opportunity for your kids to make new friends and for you and your partner to have some fun as well.
Cook and Have Dinner Together
Cooking and eating dinner as a family is a great way to bond with your family members. If you make having dinner a family affair every evening, every family member will feel obligated to come home early to share a meal with the family.
Having home-cooked meals is always a good idea no matter the goal. Eating out can be expensive and you have no control over the ingredients of your food so you really cannot watch your diet.
Further, having dinner together gives your family members a consistent forum to catch up with each other and to know what is actually going on in your lives. You will have a very upbeat support system if you create an environment where people are free to share their feelings and where they can freely ask for help.
Laugh and Have Fun
You can always tell how happy a family is by how much people laugh when you get together. A lack of laughter is a symptom of a deeper problem.
Do not be too uptight to have fun. As a parent, you should lead by example and let loose a few times to share fun moments and laughter with your family. Everyone is looking up to you to lead.
Resolve Conflict Amicably
No family is perfect. There is bound to be some conflict no matter how hard you try to avoid disagreements. Conflict is not a bad thing per se. If you have created an environment where people are free to share their thoughts and feelings, someone will definitely get their feelings hurt.
You should never let conflict escalate to a level where people start to resent one another. Letting your family members know that conflict is a normal thing where people interact and teach them how to handle such situations, you will fend off most of the drama that arise from family conflicts.
Reward Behavior Consistent with Family Values
What gets rewarded gets repeated. Reward in this case does not necessarily mean a physical gift. All you need to do is reinforce good behavior by acknowledging the well-behaved individual and letting them know that you appreciate them sticking to your family values.
On the flip side, you want to explicitly discourage behavior that goes against your family values. You shouldn’t be subtle in this case. Let the person know that you don’t appreciate them treading away from what the family considers appropriate.
It does not matter what kind of family set up you are in right now, you can bring your family closer and build a happier and stronger family. Nothing good comes easy. Building a happy family will take some work – but it will be worth it in the long run.