These days, parents and children have hectic schedules jammed packed with work, school, and all the related responsibilities that pop up. While leading a fulfilling and busy life is great, it usually means that prioritizing family relationships requires being intentional, putting in the effort, and being patient.
In honor of US National Family Day, which falls on the fourth Monday of September, we at The Optimist Daily have compiled a list of six family-strengthening strategies that will help you build and keep solid relationships with your loved ones this year.
Make eating together a habit
Even if your daily timetables are full, it’s important to prioritize sharing at least one meal with your family. Numerous studies show that families who eat together at least three times a week are healthier, both physically and mentally. Family meals factor significantly in nutrition, promote healthy eating patterns, reduce the risk of developing depression, and promote a healthy relationship with food.
Spend quality time
This tip goes hand in hand with sharing meals because it gives everyone an opportunity to converse and enjoy each other’s company. However, spending quality time can go beyond that! Try out activities that are fun for everyone, like having a weekly movie night or solving puzzles together.
One-on-one time with each family member
The great thing about this tip is that, unlike, family dinners or movie nights, it doesn’t necessarily need to be scheduled. It just requires you to take advantage of the opportunities that come up throughout the day to have an individual chat with your partner or children. This could be in the morning before everyone else wakes up or in the car on the way to soccer practice.
Each family member has their own individual interests, and showing genuine enthusiasm about another person’s passions can help deepen your connection. Engage your family members in conversations about whatever their favorite topics are, and listen mindfully. This will give them a sense of importance and value.
Share daily expressions of love and support
It’s easy to take greetings and farewells for granted when you see your family members all the time—however, every chance to give a hug or kiss is a reinforcing gesture of love. Make it a natural habit to consistently express love and care.
Get some alone time
Being around your partner and the kids all the time can be draining, w ou’re at work dealing with other stressors and colleagues.
To help you be the best version of yourself when interacting with family, it’s crucial that you carve out some time to recharge on your own. For busy people, this can seem like a daunting task, but remind yourself that it doesn’t have to take too much time. Just take a few minutes of the day to center yourself while doing something you enjoy. After all, you’re family too.