For many of us, the relationships that we have with our biological or chosen family will be the closest and most important relationships that we will have in our lives. However, like any human relationships, family relationships don’t just strengthen naturally and will sometimes require a degree of effort or intention. In this article, we will go over the various ways in which a family bond can be strengthened, as well as the general importance of family bonding.
What Are Family Bonds?
A family bonding is a relationship or connection between family members that helps promote a feeling of closeness and belonging. While family bonds can often be between close family members, they can also exist within a framework of extended family or chosen family as well.
For children, family bonding are especially important as they provide a foundation for the ways in which the child will relate to anyone else that they encounter in their day-to-day life. Family bonds can also be an effective way to promote happiness and contentment among family members, and can also have a positive effect on overall quality of life.
Do Family Bonds Occur Naturally?
While it is not unusual for family members to report a natural bond with one another, it also does not mean that your family is abnormal or failing in some manner. Sometimes, due to a variety of life circumstances that are often out of our control, there are certain circumstances that our families can end up in that are not conducive to bonding.
If you do feel like you would welcome an opportunity to strengthen familial bonds, there are some simple things that you can do to set you and your family up for success.
Ways to Strengthen Family Bonds
Even family is made up of unique individuals, so it goes without saying that family bonding can look very different depending on the family. Here is an example of some of the most common activities that can promote bonding among families:
Family Game Night
This is one of the most simple, yet the most fun, entries on this list. With the current world becoming more and more digitized, it can seem increasingly difficult to find bonding activities that don’t involve screens. However, there is nothing quite like an old fashioned board game. The strengthening of family bonds is as good of an excuse as any to take out your copy of Monopoly or Clue.
Eating Dinner as a Family
If you do not already eat dinner together as a family on a nightly basis, it is a great place to start if you are looking for a way to improve bonds. Not only do family dinners give you an opportunity to debrief about your day, but they also ensure that you and your family members are keeping up on one of the most common bonding tools — communication.
If your family has the means to do so, traveling can be a very effective way to promote family bonding. After all, a change of scenery opens up the possibility of a range of new experiences to go through together, which are sure to provide funny anecdotes for years to come.
Camp — in the Backyard!
If traveling is not in the cards for you and your family, there are still ways to be creative and feel as if you are on vacation. One popular is to hitch a tent in your own backyard! Camping in the backyard offers all of the coziness and excitement of a campsite without all of the discomfort. If you’re able to do so, having a bonfire where you can roast marshmallows and tell spooky stories is a great addition.
Volunteering as a family unit does not only do good for your community, but it also promotes a sense of well-being and belonging among your family members. Whether you’re lending your time to a homeless shelter or planting trees, volunteering is a great way for your family to feel closer together.
Tell Family Stories
In many families, there are stories that seem to be told again and again. Oftentimes they start with an individual and are passed down by generations. If you are the parent of children, sharing stories with them is a great way to increase your bond, especially since they may even pass the stories down to their children someday.
Take Regular Walks
Not only is taking regular walks a health form of exercise for yourself, but it is also a wonderful activity to engage in as a family. Even if you are simply walking for 15 minutes, this provides you with ample time to speak with one another and to help build the relationship that exists between the two of you.
Make Appreciation a Common Practice
Families do things for one another — this is a well-known fact of life. In fact, one of the unspoken yet very real things that distinguishes family units from acquaintances is the fact that families will offer unconditional support. Given that kind and selfless deeds are often expected among family members, it can be easy to get out of the habit of expressing gratitude on a regular basis.
However, even if family members are just fulfilling what they see as their duties, it is still important to ensure that you take the time to let your family members know how much you appreciate them and all of the work they do. Even this simple act can help bring you closer together.