Creating Strong Family Bonds
One of the upsides of the COVID-19 pandemic is that families have been able to spend a lot of quality time together. A strong family bond is a lasting connection that all family members carry with them, creating a sense of security and belonging. Research shows that strong family bonds contribute to higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems and improved communication skills. Need ideas on how to build your family bond? Try the following:
1. Share meals. While busy schedules can make finding time to eat together difficult, make sharing meals with your family a priority. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, eating together allows family members to catch up with each other, talk about how they are feeling and laugh together. If time is tight, start with a few days a week. Try to keep phones and electronic devices away from the table to allow for uninterrupted time together.
2. Be kind to one another. You may feel like you can let your guard down around your family, but remember to treat each other with respect. Give compliments, say thank you, support each other’s interests and celebrate successes. Treating family members with kindness makes everyone feel good.
3. Focus on experiences. If you think back on your childhood, you probably remember the experiences you had with your family (the camping trip when the raccoon almost got in the trash), not the things (the fancy, new TV). Go on a hike, ride bikes and plan special events and you’ll likely find yourself creating great memories that will last a lifetime.
4. Volunteer together. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and feel good while doing it. For families, volunteering together comes with another set of benefits. You’ll get to reinforce your family values, share unique experiences and see your family members in a new light. What’s more, you’ll become part of a bigger family that is your community.
5. Try new things. Sometimes trying new things can be scary, but doing it as a family can make it less stressful. Sign up for an art class, cook a new food or travel to a place no one has ever visited before. Who knows, you might just find a new passion that brings your family closer together.