Back in 2009 I wrote a post about The Importance of Family Bonding. This post still ranks highly with the search engines for the keyword ‘Family Bonding’. I revisited the post again in 2011 with an updated version of Family Bonding . By that time our family dynamics had changed and we were now a family of five with the addition of Tiger girl in 2010.
I amend the post from 5 way to 6 ways and this year I am including another way which one can strengthen your family bond.
7 Ways to strengthen your family bond
There are many different activities which you can do as a family to build up a close relationship with all the family members.
- Have your meals together regularly.
For us we make it a point to have dinner with the kids at least 5 days a week during the weekdays. We also get the kids to participate in setting and clearing the table.I also ensure that the television is off and all electronic devices be set aside during dinner so that everyone at the table is able to fully interact with one another and find out about each others day.
- Do not be quick to judge the other person.
Nobody is perfect. When a mistake is made do be supportive of the other person so that he will be able to learn from his mistakes.It’s really hard to think rationally and not to react based on impulse. It takes a lot of discipline to learn to be slow to anger and to think rationally when you really feel like you are going to blow your top.Kids learn quickly and best from example. If they see you as a calm and level headed parent they will also learn to be level headed too.
Do show your kids that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from it and try not to make it again. Apologizing for the mistake and being truthful also goes a long way to building up good character.
- Do plan family activities.
We used to go rollerblading together as a family before Tiger girl was born. However now with the kids being older and having their swimming lessons on the weekend we schedule visits to the park instead where everyone can have a fun time.During the weekdays after dinner and all the chores have been done, we spend time reading books or playing games with the kids.
We recently brought the kids rock climbing and everyone took turns to climb the wall. It was great fun and we did get some physical exercise together with it.
- Give each member their own space and freedom to self develop(within boundaries for kids).
No one likes to be restrained and dictated upon. We are not animals who have to be put on leash. However, young kids do need boundaries and directions to help them grow.I allow my kids to explore with minimal guidance depending on the circumstances and environment.By allowing the kids to try out and solve problems on their own I’m building up their independence. The boundaries are given to them to keep them safe and to let them know what is appropriate for their age.
My older boys are given the freedom to make their own decisions regarding to the type of foods they would like to eat and activities they would like to take part in. Sometimes we do need to sit down and discuss the pro and cons of certain decisions before agreeing on whether it is in the best interest of the family and individual.
- Respect individual difference and opinions.
My kids have very different temperaments and can be constantly at each other throats. Doggie Boy has a mind of his own. It will be extremely exhausting and frustrating if I try to force him to comply with what I want him to do if he is unwilling. Now as a four year old he would yell and be bawling away in defiance.Instead of dictating my will on him I try to reason with him and normally we are able to come to a compromise which leaves both parties happy. My 22 month old girl also screams at the top of her voice if she doesn’t get what she wants. I too use reasoning with her to the best I can. However if the action or situation is deemed dangerous I would have to remove her or stop her actions to prevent her from injuring herself or others.
For the boys I would give them a choice of what to do and he would have to bear the consequences if they made a bad decision.
- Set a family goal A family who works towards a common goal stays together. It is always easier to feel connected when everyone is working in the same direction. The kids are still young to know about family goal setting but we do have been revising our family goals regularly as the kids grow and mature.
- Constant evolution is needed
People grow and change and so do your family members. It is important to be flexible and try your best to acomodate the changing needs of each one in the family.
How to you build up your family bond?