Writer’s Name: James W. Lewis
Title: Tips on Strengthening the Family Bond
It doesn’t matter how far you travel, how much you change as you grow, how successful you become in your chosen profession, or the decisions you make (good and bad), family is family, and that will always be the case. Family knew you when you needed your diaper changed. Family witnessed your awkward teen stages. They stood front row at your graduation, their screaming, clapping, and stomping sent shock waves through the auditorium as they cheered on your achievement, probably embarrassing you. They saw it all, and they know all the secrets. They know you like no one else.
That biological link between members of “one blood” can be comforting and aggravating at the same time. No one can make you feel like a little girl like Daddy, even as a grown woman. And only your little brother can push the right buttons that make you want to stuff him in the dryer. Aw, yes, the family. They may get under your skin in the worse way, but that’s only because you love them so much.
Still, we are human and we make mistakes. People say and do hurtful things, especially to a family member. Sometimes, the bond cracks. Soaps like Dallas showed just how deep that crack can get, to the point repair may seem improbable. The goal is to never reach that point. Random people come and go, but family is blood.
So how can we avoid those deep cracks between family members? By staying involved, learning from one another, and simply enjoying each other’s company! Here are a few tips:
Have a family tradition. It can be something that only the family does on a set basis, whether weekly, monthly, or yearly. Maybe you have movie night every Friday in the family room or a family reunion every year. Family get-togethers are great ways to stay connected and have fun with each other.
Dinner together. Way too often, families disperse and do their own thing at dinner time. One person may eat in the den, while others may go to their bedroom or office. Having the entire family at the dinner table is a great way to catch up with each other, discuss current events, and have family discussions or debates.
Family that plays together. Take a trip to the park. Go on a hike and explore nature. Throw the football or baseball around. Ride bikes, from the parents on down to the 8-year-old. They say, “The family that plays together, stays together.” That statement holds a lot of truth.
Reading to your child. Experts have shown reading to a child develops a deeper relationship to the parent, influences better communication and basic speech skills, and makes reading fun well into adulthood.
Active involvement. In the pass-and-you’ll-miss-it world we live in, everyone’s busy. The schedule gets clogged up, and sometimes, we skip the important things. Staying involved helps strengthen the bond between family members. Attending PTA meetings, a game, or any other event important to that particular person shows you care and builds self-esteem.
Share duties. One person can’t do it all. Housework alone can be a full-time job, so everyone can help out. Taking turns washing the laundry, washing cars together, or doing yard work together can take the pressure off one person and can even be fun.
Show affection. No words are stronger than “I love you.” Showing affection to your closest loved ones reminds them how much you care and that they are extremely important in your life. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own lives, we forget the people around us. We should always take care of number one, but we should also never neglect the ones we love the most. A “love you” and hug goes a long way.