5 Ways to Bond With Your Family
Does it ever concern you that in our modern world of hustle and social media, many of us are actually becoming less social in ways that are essential to our mental and physical well-being? In-person socialization is integral in cultivating meaningful relationships and boosting our mental health. If you are feeling disconnected from your family, or are simply looking for ways to increase the closeness of your family, read on.
Bonding with your family not only teaches children how to interact with others with confidence but creates an abundance of memories. Carving out time for family bonding creates open lines of communication and cultivates a strong support system. The benefits of bonding with family are endless, but a notable few are:
- It improves the mental health of all members, reducing symptoms of depression, loneliness, and anxiety.
- It helps children learn and grow in a non-judgemental setting which can help them perform better academically and lower the risk of behavioral problems.
- You simply get to spend more time with your family and get to know them better.
- Many studies have shown that having a strong support network in our family or close friends lowers stress levels and releases more ‘happy hormones’.
- By making time for your family, you are actually teaching your children valuable parenting skills that they may use in the future.
Now that we’ve established the importance of family bonding, let’s get into the 5 ways to improve family relationships:
1. Eat Together
Eating at least one meal a day together is a great way to connect. This means no phones, no TV - nothing that might distract from simply talking to one another. You can use this time to ask open-ended questions like, “What would your best day ever look like?” or “Is there anything that’s been on your mind lately you feel like sharing?”. Here is a great list of questions you might like to try. Prolong the family time by getting your children involved in either choosing the meal, helping prepare the meal, cleaning up, or all three!
2. Create a Ritual Activity
If you and your partner have busy, busy schedules but are looking for ways to prioritize quality family time, try creating a ritual activity. This could be something like Mexican Mondays, or on the first Saturday of each month, you go for a picnic. Scheduling an activity in advance might make it easier to stick to, and will build anticipation and excitement for your children. Some ideas for ritual activities are:
- At-home pamper party! We’re talking robes, candles, face masks, foot soaks, the full package!
- At-home movie night. Nothing is more nostalgic than curling up on the sofa with your parents with the smell of popcorn and soda lingering in the air. Make it special by using a projector and building a tent.
- Go camping or star-gazing.
- Volunteer with a local organization. Perhaps it’s a fundraiser walk or helping serve meals to those less fortunate.
3. Make Time for Play
Often as adults, we forget the importance of play. While we must try to prepare our children for adulthood down the line, we should also try to reach our children on their level. A great way to bond with your child is to play with them. Have a craft session, paint a picture, put on a dance show, be silly in the rain, let them give you a makeover, play a board game, build a puzzle or get outside and learn their favorite sport.
4. Create a Family Tree
This is a very meaningful activity to help your family understand their roots and how the past generations have influenced their present-day way of life. You can ask your older children to help you research, and the younger ones can assist in crafting the tree. Be patient and allow them to ask lots of questions.
5. Go on a Trip
It doesn’t need to be extravagant, but the idea is to spark curiosity, engage the senses and create new memories outside of the home. As much as we love our homes, they are spaces of work, education, rules, and structure. Vacations, or simple weekends away, are a great way to bond with your family in a different environment where they may be more open to trying new things, having deeper conversations, and laughing more often.
No matter which activity you choose, make sure you are fully engaged and present for it. This presence can be referred to as quality time. It’s not just about ticking the box or fitting all the activities in, rather it’s about developing a strong foundation and sense of trust among your family members.
We hope this article has shed some light on the benefits of spending time with family and that you will be able to implement some of these family bonding activities. Let us know how you like to bond with your family by writing to us or connecting with us online @thejmkcollection.