What Makes Your Family Close
The one thing children need most in order to grow up happy and secure is a close-knit, loving family. It’s the cornerstone of each child’s healthy development. Work together as a team and you’ll be proud not only of how well your family functions, but also how close you will become. It’s easier than you think.
Following are some suggestions:
Family Rituals are the cornerstone of closeness. At least once a week, plan shared activities that all family members can enjoy, such as Sunday brunch or even watching everyone’s favorite television program. Make the commitment to spend that time together and kids will know the event is important… and they’ll feel important too.
David Elkind, Ph.D., professor of Child Development at Tufts University and author of Reinventing Childhood
Bridge Generation Gaps. Help your children connect with older people. Your son or daughter can shovel snow for an elderly neighbor. It teaches young people responsibility and helps both generations become sensitive to their unique experiences through shared time. Take an evening walk around the neighborhood with your spouse and children too. Stop to chat with neighbors-especially older folks. You’ll have quality time as a family and will also build a strong sense of community.
Mary Pipher, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and author of the Shelter of Each Other.
Family Strengthening Exercises. Set aside a time and have everyone write down specific things they like about each person in the family. Sharing these positive thoughts with your family will reinforce how much you all care for one another. Parents can set the tone throughout the year by showing appreciation and simple words of gratitude: “You cleaned your room without me asking. Thank you.” The important thing to remember is that regularly reaffirming your family’s love for each other is one of the best ways to insure a strong, lasting bond.
Adele Fabre, co-author of Siblings Without Rivalry