You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family
“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and you can put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, and your stomach because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” –Frederick Buechner
As the quote states, as you progress in life and elevate to new heights, your family will always be with you. These are the individuals that have been by your side since day one, and sometimes know you better than you know yourself. I should also mention that a family member doesn’t necessarily have to be a blood relative. It could simply be someone such as an adoptive parent or sibling.
In many instances, immediate family members tend to have the greatest impact due to life long bonds that originated from birth.
Let’s take a look at some tactics families should incorporate into their everyday lives to strengthen the relationships amongst its members.
1. Good communication. This can really make or break any family. It’s important for all family members to be on one accord. In the event of a discrepancy, those with varying perspectives should be able to openly communicate their concerns and work together to come up with a solution.
2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. With strong communication comes respect. All family members should treat others like they want to be treated. Lack of respect indicates to others that there are no clearly established boundaries for behavior.
3. Forgive and forget! Holding grudges does not facilitate bond-building; it hinders it! Immediate family members typically have your best interest at heart. Don’t ruin it all over a simple conflict; it’s just not worth it.
4. Family dinners. Nowadays, everyone seems to be so busy with their own private agendas; families are no different. Mom or Dad has to work late while the kids have extracurricular activities to participate in. This leaves no time for good ol’ traditional family dinners. However, dinnertime is an integral part in bond-building as it allows everyone to sit down together to discuss their day and other significant things taking place in their lives.
5. Game night. A game of Scrabble is the perfect highlight to spice up game night. Ditch the friends, co-workers and neighbors and join in on a fun-filled game night with your loved ones. As time ticks away, these precious moments will disappear and you may only see your family members once per year.
6. Tone at the top. If you are a parent, be sure to set a positive example for your children. The tone at the top ultimately determines the climate of the household.
7. Hugs! Don’t be afraid to embrace your loved ones every opportunity that you have. Hugs tend to create some sort of warmth inside of most of us. Tomorrow isn’t promised, so give your family members a hug today.
Whether you like it or not, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. With that being said, it’s best to accept (whole-heartedly) the family members God blessed you with and develop positive relationships with them. It will make your life a lot easier.