Strong family bonds don’t always happen naturally. But you can most certainly create a strong firm foundation that will strengthen your family’s relationships even in hectic day-to-day living.
Eat Meals 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. Don’t allow phones or other electronics, either. Just eat a meal and have a conversation together. If you unable to get together as a family for dinner because of busy schedules, try breakfast.
Do Chores as a Family
Make cleaning your home or caring for the yard a responsibility of the whole family. Create a list of chores and have everyone sign up. Set up a time when everyone can tackle their chore at the same time. If your teens need a little more flexibility, give them a deadline to have their chore completed.
Create a Mission Statement
It may seem a little corny or too business-like, but it works. A family mission statement can remind every family member about your core values or what you love most about each other. It is simple and fun to develop as a family and it’s a great project for family night. Place your framed mission statement in a predominant place in your home. Read it and talk about it often.
Have Family Meetings
Family meetings are a good time for everyone to check in with each other, air grievances, or discuss future plans like holidays or birthdays. These can be scheduled events or you can make them impromptu and allow any member of the family to call a meeting if they feel the need. Start each of these meetings by reading your family mission statement. If you have a large family, you might also want to begin by asking if anyone has something for the ‘agenda.’ Write down what everyone wants to talk about and go through them one-by-one.
Family support is important and you can build this bond that will last your kids a lifetime, even when they’re your age and after you’re gone. Encourage everyone to learn about things that are important to everyone else and to support each other through good and bad times. Share when something goes well at work. Ask your teen how their test went. Celebrate achievements and reward good behavior by doing something special together.
Baby steps are a start and they count! Watching a series as a family can open the floor for conversations, laughter, opinions and point of views.