Children growing up in strong family environments are proven to do better in school, in interactions with others and are typically more successful later in life. A strong family builds self-esteem, confidence, and compassion. In this fast paced and electronic world, maintaining strong family bonds can be difficult, but through several simple actions, you can enhance the family dynamic for years to come.
Here is a list of things you and your family can do to maintain a strong unit:
1. Eat Together. It’s not a secret that having one meal a day with your family is integral to its unity. Breaking bread together allows us to step away from our harried days (and TV) and put down the cell phone or computer and enjoy each other’s presence. Arguably one of the best ways to maintain a strong family is through communication, and sharing a meal affords a small sliver of time where we can do this. Get into the habit of sharing at least one meal with your family a day and reap the rewards.
2. Parent Away Time. Parents must make themselves a priority in the family unit. Without strong parental bonds, a family suffers. Some couples lose sight of their partner as a man or woman and only see them as a father or mother. Parents who treasure each other and show it set examples of love for their children that will be emulated in years to come.
3. Family Traditions. These are the little and big moments that can define the culture of a family. Does your family have a special way of celebrating the holidays? Does your family go on a yearly holiday together? Do you have a movie night? There are countless ways to tie family together through rituals and traditions. These little outings build long lasting memories and are things children will incorporate into their own adult lives.
4. All You Need is Love. Affection is a powerful thing for everyone in the family. It shows that you care about each other. It’s as simple as encouraging children on their science project or hugging one another after a bad day. Who ever complains they were hugged too much as a child? You are building healthy behaviors that will far outlive your family unit and become repeated in the next.