Long hours spent at work, modern technology and busy schedules can make it easy for a family to grow apart. Strengthening families generally requires effort on the parts of both parents and children. Households that have gone through a rough time or feel as if they are growing apart may find it beneficial to work actively at strengthening their families through communication, sharing activities and showing appreciation.
One of the best tips for strengthening families is engaging in frequent communication. Parents need to know what is going on in the lives of their kids and vice versa. Families should try to eat together nightly and should keep the television set off during dinner to promote conversation. If a child tries to resist sitting down and having a formal conversation, then parents can try playing a game or doing a craft together to help the child open up.
Strong families should make sure that all members are being heard and are given a chance to speak. If some family members are very loud and outgoing and other family members are shy, then there is a risk of the quieter family members being overshadowed during a conversation. The head of the household should suggest that members go around the table and give their opinion on a topic during dinner or a family meeting to avoid this problem.
Another tip for strengthening families involves activities. Strong families do things together. It is important for families to do fun activities together, including some form of exercise, going to the movies or taking a vacation. Families also can bond by doing errands and household projects together. When each member of a family participates in painting a room, installing a swing set or cleaning out the basement, it can turn the chore into a bonding and team-building activity.
Strengthening families can be achieved by family members showing appreciation for their children, siblings, parents and spouses. Most families feel love for each other, but not all families remember to express their love often enough. Appreciation can be shown for family members in verbal ways, such as complimenting a delicious dinner or saying thank you for a ride to the mall. Family members also can show their appreciation for each other using gifts. The gifts do not have to be expensive; a homemade card or a thoughtful poem can make a loved one's heart melt.