Family is the most important thing in the world for most of us, but in today’s busy culture it’s not uncommon for families to feel disconnected sometimes. Here are four tips you can use to help your family grow closer together.
Have a Family Night
Set aside one evening a week or month exclusively for family. Put it on the calendar so everyone knows it’s happening, and plan something fun or relaxing that everyone can enjoy. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive: A card game and some snacks is a low-key way to spend some quality time together. You can even have kids take turns planning the evening’s activities, with guidance from a parent or older sibling if needed.
Eat Meals Together
Eating meals together as a family provides a wonderful opportunity to relax and chat with one another. Studies have shown that sharing meals around the table strengthens family bonds, heightens self-esteem, and can even improve health and academic performance. Set regular mealtimes and use that time to laugh, re-connect with each other, and have genuine conversations.
Establish Tech-Free Time
Figure out boundaries for technology. Although smartphones and iPads can be great tools, teach your family that electronics have a time and a place, and set aside tech-free time when family members can be truly present. You and your family can decide what is reasonable, but some ideas for tech-free times and places might include no tech at mealtimes, no tech in the bedroom, or no tech after a certain time, such as 7 p.m.
Limit Outside Commitments
School, work, and extracurricular activities take a significant amount of time and energy. Although all of these activities are important, it’s equally important to prioritize family time. This may require you to limit outside commitments and say no to certain activities so you can allow your family the time they need to connect with each other and nurture their relationships.
Making family time a priority is one of the best things you can do to help your family forge connections with each other and develop close relationships that will last a lifetime. With some planning and organization, you can create a positive environment that will benefit the whole family.