7 Factors for building a close family

7 Factors for building a close family
7 Factors for building a close family

All parents want the best for their children, and building a close family with bonds that will last forever is the secret to seeing them thrive. Families flourish when their bonds are strong, and everyone in the family feels happy and secure.

Researchers have identified the key factors that help to build healthy, supportive families:

  • Resilient parents
  • A supportive social network
  • Access to social and support services when needed
  • Understanding of child development and parenting skills
  • Children who can regulate their emotions and communicate well

But building a close-knit, resilient family doesn't always come naturally. Here are some ways in which you can create a happier and closer family.

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1. Look after yourself

While you can't eliminate stress from being a parent, you can build resilience that allows you to deal with stress more effectively. It's all about bouncing back from challenges and thinking positively to solve problems and build better relationships.

However busy your schedule, it's essential to carve out a little time for yourself, whether to do your hobby, enjoy a relaxing bath, or read a book. You'll be a better parent when you've recharged your batteries. To help you cope in stressful times, Bach flowers can help with stress, anxiety and other stress-related issues such as insomnia.

2. Spend more family time together

In today's busy world, carving out the time to spend time with your children can be challenging.

Spending quality time together is the most significant gift family members can give each other. Enjoying activities together teaches children social skills, boosts their self-esteem and improves their behaviour. It also encourages better performance at school and teaches kids how to be a good friend. Here are a few ideas for spending more time together:

  • Take a look at everyone's timetable to identify a block of time, maybe a regular evening, that can be dedicated as family time. Put it on the calendar and make sure that everyone keeps this time free for family time.
  • Plan some days out together. Put the dates on the calendar well in advance and get the kids involved in planning where to go and what they would like to do.
  • Create some new family traditions and maintain them every year. Pick activities that everyone will enjoy. Get together for the first BBQ of the summer, go strawberry or apple picking together, carve pumpkins at Halloween and make decorations at Christmas. Many families enjoy taking part in an annual charity run or cycle ride or attending a local fair or festival.

3. Eat dinner together

Schedule at least a few times every week when everyone gets together for a family meal. Don't allow screens or phones; just eat dinner, and take the opportunity to have a conversation. Give everyone the chance to speak, from the eldest to the youngest. Eating together as a family promotes children's physical and mental well-being. It can also improve communication and strengthen family ties.

4. Do chores as a team

Make the whole family responsible for tackling chores. Make a list of regular housework tasks and don't forget gardening or cleaning the car. Get everyone to sign up for a chore and pick a time at the weekend or during the week when you can tackle the task. Doing chores together really speeds up the process and also fosters a sense of teamwork. Plan a reward for when everything's done, such as a board game, getting pizza or ice cream, or watching a movie.

5. Have family meetings

It might sound a little contrived when you first start but having a regular family meeting is an excellent way for everyone to check in, discuss plans, set family goals and air any grievances. You can schedule them on the family's calendar, or you could allow family members to call meetings on an impromptu basis.

Start by reminding everyone of the need to respect others and to be kind and considerate. Ask if anyone has items they want to discuss and take each issue in turn. You may need to establish a few guidelines, such as only one person speaking at a time! Family meetings aim to solve disputes and other issues in a productive, helpful way.

6. Join other families

All families are part of broader society, and building relationships with other families in your community will help to strengthen your bonds. You could participate in community activities within your school, your neighbourhood, your church or within a volunteer group. The important thing is to take part in activities with other families. Doing so will help your children develop their social skills.

Giving your energy and time by volunteering together is a valuable learning experience for all the family and will draw you closer.

7. Ask for help

Always ask for help or advice if you need it. As a parent, challenging times are inevitable, but you don't have to face them alone. Keep a list of places and people you can turn to for support when required. Be open to learning new parenting skills, and pass on the wisdom you've acquired to others.

A final thought

One of the best ways we learn is by example. Showing everyone how highly you value your family will also show them that you love them as individuals. The greatest gift you can give them is a strong family bond that will last a lifetime.


Sources:

https://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/your-family/relationship-advice/top-ten-tips-for-a-happier-family/

http://www.first5ventura.org/positive-parenting-tips/protective-factors-for-families/

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Marie Pure

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