When you hear the word “family”, you instantly begin to think about your own. From the moment we are born, our family is who teaches us the ways of the world. Your family may not necessarily be blood related but they are who raise you.
Having a strong family relationship is vital as they shape your functioning in society. A good family relationship helps you feel safe and loved. Each member of the family feels more confident with the support of their family.
In this article, we will explore the different ways you can strengthen your relationship with your family.
9 Ways of Building Strong Family Relationships
The following are the 9 ways of building a strong family relationship:
- Healthy and Open communication
- Actively listening
- Having meals together
- Spending quality time together
- Distribute Household Responsibilities
- Understanding Non-Verbal Communication
- Don’t Blame Each Other
- Showing Appreciation for one another
- Unconditional Love and Support
Now let us explore each one in detail.
Healthy and Open Communication
A strong and healthy family uses an open channel of communication. It is very important to be open and honest to form a trust circle in the family. The circle of trust is built on honesty, it is a safe space to share your thoughts and feelings with each other.
Parents should also be open and honest with each other in the marriage. They should teach the same type of communication to their children in order to provide a secure platform for communication.
It is also essential to be able to express your feelings in a healthy manner and sort out any conflicts within the family in a positive way. Even when angry or sad, family members should provide a safe and secure space for venting.
There should not be any judgments when difficult topics are being discussed or shared. A strong family provides a non-judgmental and unbiased platform for expression of thoughts and feelings.
For instance, when two siblings are fighting, it is important for the parents to hear both sides and not blame either of the children. It is also important for the parents to give the same level of punishment or reward to both the children.
When a family member needs to talk, it is best to put everything aside and really listen to what they are trying to say. Rather than reacting right away, try to really hear everything they are saying and wait for them to finish.
At this stage, it is also essential to try to put yourself in their shoes and show them empathy. Before you respond to what they are saying, try to clarify, if needed, so that there is no misunderstanding or miscommunication that takes place.
Be open and honest but in a positive way. If your tone is harsh or rude, or even if you yell, your family will be hesitant to approach you again when they need to talk. Try to be understanding of what they are saying and sort out the conflict in a calm, rational manner.
When dealing with young children, it is important to let them finish what they want to share and provide a learning experience for them. Children are innocent and may have come to confess about something small or irrelevant.
It is important to provide value and validation to their feelings so they know that it is good to be honest. Do not be quick to dismiss their feelings because they may feel that all their feelings are irrelevant and to be kept to themselves.
Having Meals Together
‘A family that eats together, stays together’
This is a well known saying that essentially means that when a family sits down and shares at least one meal together every day, their bond becomes closer and stronger.
Even if your family members are busy, assign a few nights in a week to encourage healthy bonds and communication within the family. Dinner is generally the best meal to be shared with the family.
A strong family talks about the events of their day and what is happening in their lives. This helps family members to be more involved in each other’s lives and weigh in on things they may need help dealing with.
Family meal time should be without any distractions of electronic gadgets. Each family member should get an opportunity to speak about their day and about any upcoming events in their lives.
Spending Quality Time
A strong family takes out quality time for each other. Spending time together as a family helps strengthen your bond. Families that live apart can meet every week for a weekend barbeque or a birthday/anniversary party.
Families can also plan trips and adventures together. Building family rituals and traditions can also help the family come closer when apart. These give an excuse for the family to meet and spend quality time together.
Families with young children can plan camping or trekking trips. Being out in nature can also help strengthen the bond of your family. While this provides good quality time with the family, it also becomes a learning opportunity for children.
Families that live together can assign a certain time each week to be away from gadgets and spend quality time, bonding with each other. If the children are young, parents can plan crafts or other activity time. This will strengthen the parent-child bonding.
Strong families can also go for movies, picnics, amusement parks, beaches, and other fun places to create valuable memories with each other. Individual one-on-one time is also crucial in a strong family.
Taking time out to bond with each family member individually helps bring the entire family together. Sometimes children may feel more comfortable to open up to one parent more than the other. That parent can also encourage the child on how to effectively communicate with the other.
Distribute Household Responsibilities
Distributing chores among the family is a great way to teach children about responsibility. A strong family divides various household responsibilities to take the pressure off of just one person handling everything.
Creating a list of chores and allowing each family member to select the chores of their choice not only enhances their decision making abilities but also gives them the freedom of choice.
Doing chores also teaches children about life skills which are useful for them in the future when they leave the nest. Not only that, it also teaches them to be independent and capable of handling their own livelihood.
A weekly rotation of chores can also be applied so that every family member gets an equal opportunity to do the chores of their liking. If there is a boring or tedious task, parents can find a way to make chores fun for their children by introducing small rewards.
Understanding Non-Verbal Communication
The deeper the bond you have with your family, the higher the level of understanding becomes in a strong family. It is crucial to observe and notice when a family member is expressing non-verbally.
Most teenagers have difficulties in opening up and speaking to their parents about certain issues. They may just want their parents to be there for them and provide them with love and support.
Non-verbal cues like slouched posture, loud or frequent sighs, frowns, tears, or even change in tone can all be signs that your family member is under some sort of distress. If you notice such cues, try to comfort them with just your presence or see if they would like to talk about it.
Some non-verbal cues can also be positive like a sudden kiss, smile, hug or eye contact. Either your family member is seeking comfort or they are just trying to express their love to you without actually saying it.
Don’t Blame Each Other
When there is a conflict in the family, it is important to not start pointing fingers at each other and blaming each other for things. A strong family learns to effectively communicate rather than accusing one another.
An effective way of communicating would be to replace ‘you’ with ‘I’. For example, instead of saying, “you always do this”, a better way to express this would be to begin your sentence with, “I feel that…”.
Talking about your feelings and emotions helps your family members better understand what you may be going through. Parents should always praise when children effectively communicate with each other.
If the conflict is too ‘heated’ then it is best to give both the members some personal space to allow them to cool off before focusing on the problem.
Showing Appreciation For One Another
Every human being seeks validation on some level. They look for approval and validation for their actions. In a strong family relationship, it is vital to give value to each other.
Taking an interest in your children’s lives and supporting them shows them you appreciate them for who they are. Parents should provide encouragement to their children’s interests and be present for their special events at school.
At the same time, it is important to show your spouse that you appreciate them for their hard work and efforts in the relationship. In a strong family, members recognize and accept each other’s differences and love them unconditionally.
Learn to appreciate the little joys of life, like a breath of fresh air, a nice sunny day, a cool breeze in the air. Teach children to do the same so they learn to have an appreciation of life in general.
Try not to take your family for granted. Appreciate the little things your father, mother or siblings do for you. Show them that you respect them and support them. Shower unconditional positive regard to your loved ones.
Unconditional Love and Support
Strong families love and support each other no matter what. This is a key element in the foundation of any strong family relationship. Nothing is greater than a good family support system.
Knowing that your family is always there for you, despite the tough times you may be going through, is like a light at the end of the tunnel. You know that together, you can tackle any difficulties in life.
The kind of unconditional love that your family can give you is unique and one-of-a-kind. Of course, most people are there for you when you go through some milestones in life but the true test of time are the hard times.
Some close friends may stick around during those times but if you have a strong bond with your family, then they will definitely help you and support you through the hard times together. With a strong family relationship, you never feel alone.
In this article, we discussed the 9 ways of building strong family relationships in detail.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Building Strong Family Relationships
What are three ways to build and keep strong family relationships?
The three ways to build and keep strong family relationships are:
- Building mutual trust
- Having open and honest communication
- Providing love and support to each other
What are the 7 ways to build family relationships?
The following are the 7 ways to build family relationships:
- Provide a safe and secure space for expression of thoughts and feelings.
- Show unconditional positive regard to your family members.
- Build mutual trust with one another.
- Find effective ways to communicate with each other.
- Take out time to spend with your family.
- Resolve conflicts in a positive way to avoid friction within the family.
- Love and appreciate each other.
What can be shared in a family to establish strong ties?
To establish strong ties or connections in a family, you can try doing the following things:
- Have family gatherings or meals regularly so you can catch up to the events of each other’s lives.
- Plan trips together or spend holidays and festivals with each other.
- Take out some quality time with each member of the family to establish stronger connections.
- Go for adventures and do fun activities together to build long lasting memories.
- Communicate with each other in healthy ways to avoid conflicts.
- Provide each other with love, support, acceptance and appreciation.