How to Build a Family Bond
Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Having a strong family bond is an important factor that contributes to the mental health and happiness of each member of the family. Feeling like you belong, like you are wanted, loved, and valued is extremely beneficial to your wellbeing. Having a strong family unit is linked to better academic performance in children, more happiness in adults, and more life satisfaction in all members of the family.
Building a family bond is essential, but how do you start to build and strengthen the relationships between family members? Here are 3 practices you can implement to help improve family connectedness and strengthen your family's bond.
How to build and strengthen the family bond
1. Be kind to one another
Speaking kindly and respectfully to one another makes each person in the family unit feel validated, important, and cared about. Children learn this behavior by observing how others in the family talk to one another. Modeling kind language helps children learn this healthy, appropriate way of communicating with others in the family. When each person in the family makes a strong effort to act and speak kindly to each other, the family bond is strengthened because each person is happy to belong to that family unit.
2. Make and honor new traditions together
Creating a new tradition together is a way to celebrate, come together, and honor your family's unique interests. You'll make long-lasting memories and stories that strengthen your family’s bond while having fun together. Perhaps every Friday night is family pizza night, where you order-in pizza. Maybe you make homemade popcorn for a weekly movie night together. Or you create a new DIY garland to decorate your house each spring season. Find something fun that your family enjoys and make it a new tradition.
3. Have regular family meetings
Family meetings are a kind, honest, and open place for members of the household to share their personal desires or grievances with one another. Maybe little sister is feeling left out and needs more quality time with a particular sibling. Maybe older brother has been wanting to quit baseball but has been afraid of disappointing parents. Maybe guardians need to set some new family rules or boundaries and are having a difficult time getting everyone on the same page. Regular family meetings create a safe space for family members to verbalize their feelings and desires before they become larger problems. It also helps children give names to their feelings and learn how to effectively communicate their needs, which is a great skill to build. Determine what a family meeting would look like for your family and how regularly you meet- maybe it's once a month or once a week or once a quarter. Giving every family member a regularly scheduled time and allowance to safely share with each other helps the family communicate better, resolve potential disagreements together, and trust one another.
These are three basic ways to help build and strengthen the bond in your family. Pick one or two techniques to start implementing and share what difference these practices make in your family.