We’d all love to spend more time with our families, but thanks to modern working patterns and after-school clubs, it can sometimes be difficult. The good news, though, is that there are dozens of ways that you can bring your family closer together. Here’s how.
Tip #1: Listen To All Voices
There’s a tendency in families to only listen to the loudest voices. The quieter members of the family often get left out and aren’t allowed to air their opinions. They go along with what the majority says without ever inserting themselves into the conversation. Sometimes it can be hard for parents to take the emotional needs of young children seriously. But parents need to remember that for children, especially infants, the world is overwhelming and they don’t yet have the tools to manage the emotional complexity of it all. Hearing them out and allowing them to express their feelings and preferences will help develop trust.
Tip #2: Go On Trips To New Places
Going to new places can be stressful, but there’s evidence that local family days out can really help children during the course of their development. New environments flick a switch in their brains which sends their capacity to learn into overdrive. New experiences engage all their cognitive systems, including motor, social and memory, fast-tracking their development. Not only this, but family days out are a heck of a lot of fun, and help establish closer bonds between parents and their children.
Tip #3: Personal Support
Everybody needs a mentor, whether it’s the billion-dollar business person or the two-year-old child. Life is difficult sometimes, and we all need to know that there’s somebody out there who is looking out for us. As a family, you want those relationships to be kept within the
family. If a member of your family is suffering or needs some advice, be their listening ear. Give them what they need, and they’ll reciprocate – you’ll be able to rely on them in the future too.
Tip #4: Create Your Own Culture
What is culture? It’s essentially the idiosyncrasies in the way we think, behave and interact. Culture isn’t something which is “out there” in society – it’s something that we can develop in
our own families. You can start up any traditions or rituals you like. What about family games night? Movie night? Party night? You could do anything – and these rituals will last your children a lifetime.
Tip #5: Have A Family Meal Together
Family meals are essential forums for communication. They’re a chance for everybody to communicate. But it’s a tradition that has been largely lost in most families, with many preferring to have TV dinners on trays.
Psychologists say that eating together and conversing is something uniquely human. We evolved eating together in small family units and tribes, and if we want to form close bonds today, we should continue to do so. You don’t have to eat together every day – although that is preferable. Just Sundays and Wednesday will usually do the trick.