4 Ways to Strengthen Family Relationships

by | Dec 18, 2023 | Children, Christmas and Holidays, Family, Psychology, Relationships | 0 comments

For many families the holiday season is filled with a burst of activity. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas prep, planning activities to entertain the kids, and events. It’s also a great time to stop and think about how you can strengthen family relationships at this time, and into the new year.

Here are 4 ways to strengthen family relationships:

1. Routines – The way a family organises themselves

Routines are simply a pattern to how daily life unfolds. For kids, this means there is regularity and predictability to daily life – which in an uncertain world promotes a sense of safety and comfort. 

It can also be a helpful way to start teaching the balance between sleep, eating, exercise, play, and work. All of which will fill up kids’ energy tanks and contribute to emotional wellbeing.

2. Rituals – Anything that has a special meaning to a family

Rituals can occur on a regular basis and become part of routines, for example a weekly family dinner or reading a book at bedtime. They can also be one off events, like what you do at Christmas, or even special ways the family communicate. 

No matter what it is, the ritual signifies that family relationships are important and that kids are valuable members. As kids take part in the family rituals and help shape them, they build a sense of belonging.

4 Ways to Strengthen Family Relationships - Psychology and Well Being Hub Gordon

3. Relating – How a family connects

To relate to kids, adults need to spend time with them in their world. Often all kids want from their parent is their undivided time and attention. They would prefer you sit with them, talk with them, play with them in whatever it is they are interested in or passionate about, rather than take them out to a paid family activity. Don’t get me wrong, paid activities are also a great way to connect with your child. However, on the day-to-day level the key to connection is time ‘just being with’ your child.

4 Ways to Strengthen Family Relationships - Psychology and Well Being Hub Gordon

4. Responding – How parents tune into kids

Responding to kids in the midst of a meltdown can be draining – especially when it seems like their emotional world is all over the place. By slowing down and tuning into their emotions, listening and validating their experience, before jumping into problem solving or redirection, kids learn how to manage their strong emotions – no matter what they are experiencing. It also shows them that you are bigger, wiser, and stronger than whatever challenge they are facing. And that you can help them with kindness.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Consider slowing down and taking the time to strengthen family relationships before the new year kicks off.