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5 Tips for Building Family Unity

by Melanie

Supporting happy familiesIn these fast and busy times with multiple demands on a family’s time, it seems as though prioritizing the family is more important than ever. Here are a few quick ideas to help strengthen family ties.

  1. Set aside a designated time every week for family time.  Whether it is “Taco Tuesday” or  “Sunday Game Time,” having a planned and designated time together will help maintain family identity and promote together time as a priority among all family members.
  2. Express yourself! Written notes can communicate love and appreciation, and the receiver has the benefit of reading and re-reading the notes as often as they would like! Surprise the intended by leaving them where they can be easily found (i.e., in a lunch box, in a back-pack, as a bookmark, or in pants pockets). Notes can be simple…. “I love you because­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____________” or be creative!
  3. Create something as a family. Brainstorm as a team and be sure that everyone feels equally heard. Upon completion, showcase your finished product as a reminder of your family’s successful collaboration! Some ideas include creating a family symbol or a family motto as an expression of your family’s unity, creating your family tree, or drawing a family portrait.
  4. Be open minded. Parents can learn a lot from a little healthy, honest feedback from their children. Create family report cards and have your children grade you on the following subjects; smiling, laughing, sharing, playing, etc. Be open to both the process and the feedback that follows. Remember to have fun with it!
  5. Communicate. Use your family’s time effectively for successful, healthy communication.
  • Give your full attention by leaving electronics out of your family’s communication time.
  • Use “how, why, what” questions when discussing each other’s day.

Some activities that promote communication are:

  • Eat a meal together daily
  • Create a “check in” to debrief the day, such as sharing “highs/lows”
  • Schedule regular family meetings
  • Make a “suggestion box” and encourage everyone to contribute whatever  is on his or her mind. Open it once weekly and discuss the contents.

There are multiple demands on a family’s time, however, prioritizing together time can help instill an appreciation of family and help everyone feel that they are important. Focusing the family’s energy on the quality (vs. quantity) of time spent together can build family morale and pride and can assist in keeping communication open among family members.

1 Comments

Nadia SalernoAug 12 2014 - -

Thank you for these tips Melanie. I particularly like the idea of inviting honest feedback from our children. I like the possibility that this may help identify big feelings and start open conversation. I hesitantly asked my 6 year old what he would rate our "no yelling" campaign. His response opened a fun conversation about how behaviors change over time and how what we may think is OK when we were 4yo changes when we are 6yo. Great tip! Thank you.

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