Keeping the family together means adopting certain habits into your routine to ensure you’re keeping up with everyone, setting aside adequate bonding time, and making room for important conversations. Simple habits can help bring your family together, and today we’re going to talk about five of them.
A healthy family is the backbone of a successful, responsible society. With problems like opioid addiction, crime rates skyrocketing, and more and more young adults falling victim to mental illness, drugs, and other harmful conditions, holding together the family has never been more important. Let’s take a look at the ways you can create new and healthy habits to keep your family strong.
1. Praying Together Or Bible Time
Whether it’s praying together, sharing audio bible stories for families, or simply discussing the wonders of God’s works on Earth, making time to study scripture is an excellent habit to get into. Young children especially love the stories (like Noah’s Ark) that capture their imagination and leave them with a sense of wonder at miracles, acts of bravery and kindness, and the wonder of God himself.
Even if you’re not openly religious or hold different belief systems, it’s still a good idea to make time for your family to practice or discuss your beliefs. If you consider yourself “spiritual”, talk about why the lifestyle appeals to you and the benefits you’ve gained from your spirituality. You can share stories about times when your spirituality of beliefs made a difference in your life, or how you came to discover them.
It’s a good idea to start forming that moral compass for your family as early as possible. Bible stories and praying together is a great way to engage in familial activities and learn something at the same time.
2. Eating Together
Have you ever heard the saying, “the family that eats together, stays together”? There’s a reason this saying still rings true today. Aside from sharing good food together, there are a myriad of reasons to sit down and take some time out of your day to eat with the family.
For starters, you’ll get to know your family members better by spending some quality time with them. And who doesn’t like to have a discussion over a full, healthy, tasty meal? Good meals have brought mankind together for millennia, and likely will continue to do so well into our future. There’s just something about sharing food with people you care about that feels so genuine and wholesome.
You’ll also be able to teach your family members to have an open mind by introducing new foods, discussing ideas, and so on. Be sure to keep the discussion open and honest, and encourage everyone to participate!
3. Alone Time
When you think of family, you likely think of a unified group of people who spend a lot of time together, and while that may be accurate, there’s one thing some families forget: alone time is just as important as unified family time. Why? Because when people don’t get enough personal space, it can create a serious strain on their relationships.
Living in close quarters with others can cause short tempers, disagreements, and arguments. Alone time is a huge component of a successful family because it ensures that everyone is taking care of themselves first. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else! Yes, parents, that means you, too. Many parents believe that their children should always come first, but this mentality can leave a parent feeling exhausted, depressed, or even resentful of their children. The bottom line? Sometimes, you just need some you time.
This goes for siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents—anyone, really. Spending too much time around the family can drive anyone mad. So, take some time, go treat yourself to that spa day, a walk in the park, or a pint of ice cream all to yourself. You’ve earned it.
4. Good Communication
Creating a habit of good communication within the family unit will not only increase the overall health of the family unit, but also make everyone more open to talking about difficult subjects. When communication is blocked, people tend to pull away and hide how they’re really feeling. This simply isn’t good for any team, especially a family.
Solving problems within the family requires communication. This means talking things out, learning to read each other’s body language and cues, and paying attention to the things family members say. Being a good listener means listening to hear, not to respond. Too many of us are listening to someone talk with our next point already loaded up and ready to fire back. Take a deep breath, don’t talk, and truly hear what the other person is hearing. Don’t respond right away, either. Take a moment to think about what they’ve said, and craft an appropriate response from there. Responding out of emotion usually doesn’t end well.
5. Turn Off The Electronics
We’ve all seen it—families together in public or at home with their faces in a tablet, smartphone, or TV screen. There’s nothing inherently wrong with using electronics, except that they can sometimes stifle communication and cause us to miss the very real moments unfolding right before our eyes.
In our modern world, it’s pretty much impossible to stay off of electronics altogether, but it’s not about abstinence as much as it’s about control. Controlling when you use electronics can make a huge difference in the health of your family. Set specific times for games, TV, and phones. Likewise, set specific times for family bonding with no electronics at all. You’ll be grateful to spend some quality time with those you love without a screen in the background.
Keeping the family together means making some good habits along the way. These five habits will improve your communication, bonding, as well as set some healthy boundaries. Enjoy your loved ones, and remember…every team needs good communication!
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