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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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