Forge Strong Family Relationships
Most of us know that quality relationships are important to our sense of well-being. Relationships within a family unit predict thrive rates for children and build character strengths far more than any demographic factor. Family members are a source of nurturance, emotional bonding and socialization. So much so, that a large number of strong relationships directly correlates with a decrease in high-risk behaviors, such as alcohol and tobacco use, and children tend to be more resilient in the face of stress and trauma.
Spend quality time together
Spend time engaging in activities for bonding with family members. Celebrate holidays, birthdays or organize picnics and games. While celebrating the bond you are building a deeper connection with shared memories and personal history.
- Use time together, such as mealtimes, to talk and share stories or a laugh.
- Strengthen individual relationships with one-on-one chats with each family member.
- Do fun things together as a family on a regular basis.
- Make plans together for special events such as birthdays.
Communicate in positive ways
The key to any strong relationship is communication. Share your opinions and feelings with family members, as it will help you create a better understanding of one another. Discuss the pleasant as well as the unpleasant and commit to resolving issues immediately instead of broadening conflicts. It is important to communicate the feelings of hurt, resentment and anger so that misunderstandings can be avoided and anger does not escalate.
- Talk about everything (even difficult things).
- Listen with full attention.
- Encourage each other with praise, not criticism.
- Respect boundaries and work together to solve problems.
- Show appreciation, love and encouragement.
Work together as a team
Everyone needs some time alone and respecting privacy is one of the important things that build solid relationships. It helps you build trust and give an experience of freedom. Alone time with parents can also help children feel special.
- Create family rules that apply to everyone.
- Include older children in decisions that affect the family.
- Share household chores and responsibilities.
- Think about everyone’s needs when planning family activities.
- Let children make some of their own decisions.
Appreciate each other
Every member of the family is an independent individual. All have distinct personalities which therefore results in having different opinions. A certain level of disagreement is healthy as it brings up more ideas and suggestions to discuss. But this disagreement should be positively accepted. There should be an open minded approach and maintain mutual respect while expressing the disagreement.
- Take an interest in each other’s lives.
- Include everyone when talking about the day’s events.
- Support each other for important events like sports and school concerts.