Family is everything. Whether you’re related by blood or part of a strong “chosen family,” family members can often be our greatest sources of love and support. But occasionally, you might find your family members feeling a little distant – especially if you’re unable to see each other face-to-face for an extended period of time. These tips for improving family relationships will keep your bond strong no matter what.
Tips for Improving Family Relationships
Improve Family Relationships with a Simple Chat
A little conversation can go a long way when it comes to feelings of closeness and connectedness. Make time to chat with your family members regularly, whether over the phone, over email, or even over snail mail. And don’t forget to dive a little deeper; while chatting about the weather is certainly the easy route, asking your loved ones questions about their hopes, aspirations, and daily lives can bring you closer together than ever before. Whether it involves a daily five-minute check-in or a weekly half-hour phone call, speaking with family members is a crucial part of staying connected.
Schedule Relationship-Building Together Time
It might seem strange or unnatural to schedule “together time” with family members, especially if you live in the same town – after all, you see each other all the time. However, regularly scheduled together time helps communicate that you see your family relationships as a top priority. That time can be anything from a Saturday morning walk in the park to a monthly video chat with multiple members of the family. Together time also doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive – it just has to be consistent.
Face Issues Head On
You’ve probably heard the phrase “fight like siblings.” Even the closest families have issues crop up from time to time. If things are feeling tense, improving family relationships is all about communication. While it may be tempting to ignore any issues and pretend everything is fine, leaving issues unresolved can breed resentment over time. If a disagreement crops up, do your best to hear everyone out before jumping to conclusions. And while open communication can solve a wide variety of family issues, don’t be afraid to ask for outside help. A neutral party like a family counselor can be an excellent resource in the face of tricky issues like finances, grief, and more.
Learn and Grow Together
The family that plays together stays together – but the family that learns together will create memories to last a lifetime. Consider joining a community organization or learning a new skill, like a sport or instrument, with members of your family. You might also dedicate weekly time to volunteering with members of your family. Volunteering has a number of benefits, both physical and mental, for people of all ages. Sharing in these learning experiences is a great way to keep family relationships strong. It can also help you gain perspective outside of your “family bubble.”
Family relationships can be some of the richest connections in our lives. Just remember that strong families don’t just happen – they’re built. With a little effort, you can ensure that your family relationships are stronger than ever.
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