Everybody has aspirations when it comes to their relationships. Ever hear the quote, “dreams don’t work unless you do”? Well, it’s the same for all relationships, even familial ones. If you don’t make an effort to connect with the members of your family, it might cause you to drift apart. However, it’s never too late to make a change. There are plenty of habits that you can incorporate into your family life to strengthen your bonds, but here are a few common practices of happy families.
According to WebMD, you should ask your children questions when they come home from school and you should share a little anecdote about your own day. This sets the tone for your relationship and gives them clear expectations. It also reassures them that you are interested in them and that you care.
If everyone goes on their various screens (mobile phones, televisions, computers or laptops), it essentially sets up a “do not disturb” vibe and creates a disconnect between family members. Oftentimes, we find that we are being disturbed when we want some “me time” but by establishing when is the time for conversation, it will ease other interruptions from your children as they seek for your attention, oftentimes “at the wrong time”.
Do Things Together
A common theme is to interact and you shouldn’t be limited by conversation. Working on home renovations, a windows replacement project together, fixing up the garden, cooking dinner or having creative sessions such as painting or playing music also helps you bond with one another. You will get to know each other on a whole new level and get to watch how each of you responds to different situations.
Overcoming problems together or creating together generates a sense of closeness. You will have shared memories of these moments in the years to come.
Family Before Friends, But Don’t Undermine Friendships
Family counsellors often drill the idea that family should always come first and while this might be true to a degree, your children will not appreciate you limiting their time with their friends. Forcing your children to spend time with you and the rest of the family will breed resentment. The idea is to draw clear lines on what is considered acceptable and learn to be flexible within reason.
If they want to have a night out with their buddies instead of staying home for a family tradition of game night, let them. If there’s a family event, such as a gathering or a family emergency, explain to them the significance of them being there. But if it’s the choice between prom and taking his or her sister to the movies, you should allow them the freedom to decide without any negative feelings. The key is balance and we want to teach our children that friendships are important, too.
You Don’t Have To Try So Hard To Be The Cool Parent
We’ve all been there – promising ourselves that we will be cooler than our parents ever were, only to discover that we are just like them and to compensate, try too hard to get our kids to see us as a cool counterpart. The truth is, we will never be considered cool by our children. It’s a hard pill to swallow but parents are authoritative figures that offer guidance in a child’s life. You are their mentor and as a result, will never attain the same level of coolness as a superhero in a movie and that’s okay.
You don’t have to be cool in order for your children to respect you. What you can do is to be welcoming and accepting of your child and by creating that safe space, your kids will learn that they can trust you and be themselves around you, leading to a happier and healthier family life.
The benefits of a happy family are largely emotional and mental – studies have shown that there is a higher chance of depression in dysfunctional families. Furthermore, successful children oftentimes hail from happy families. At the same time, you shouldn’t stress over having the perfect family and force these changes on your family member even if they are not receptive. Adapt to your family and incorporate changes slowly. You will get there eventually.