In the trenches of everyday life it can seem like your family is falling apart. There are power struggles with strong-will kids, communication breakdowns with your husband, and disagreements over schedules, chores, and money. Many moms wonder how they can create strong family bonds amidst the chaos.
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The Secret Behind Family Bonding
Let's establish this truth first: You do not need to wait for perfect days to create strong, healthy bonds. Life will get chaotic. Attitudes (and hormones) will flare. Perfect days don't make strong bonds. It's how you deal with the imperfect days and the intentional steps you take that create life-long, healthy bonds with your family.
8 Ways to Create Strong Family Bonds
1. Family prayer and devotions
One of the best ways to build strong a strong family is through devotions and prayer time together. The reality is it might be hard to get the entire family together but as much as you can as often as you can is so important.
My son and I pray throughout the day. When tempers and attitudes flare, first thing in the morning, and if we hear of or see a need we pray. My husband can't always be there, he's at work, but we make the intentional decision to pray together daily.
2. Family Play
There's something magical that happens when you play together as a family. It doesn't have to be romper room – board games, pitch and catch, or riding bikes. Whatever your family enjoys. Do it together.
3. Maintain Marriage Health
A healthy marriage leads to better parenting. I see this creep into our lives. When my husband and I aren't connected well then our parenting suffers and the family dynamic seems stressed. Keep your husband in priority even when dishes, laundry, and errands pile up.
4. Be Grateful
Gratefulness leads to joy and joy leads to a shift in the atmosphere. Take time as a family to be grateful for each other and to speak aloud what you're grateful for. Choose to see the positive things about your loved ones, not the negative. Start a gratitude journal or a Thanksgiving Jar. (every day, write down something you're thankful for and put it in a jar or write it in your journal).
5. Learn the Art of Apology
We will never be perfect so perfect must our apology skills be. Learn and model humility for you children by being quick to apologize in a healthy way when you were in the wrong. You will do more for your children when you apologize to them for wrong behavior on your part than you will constantly pointing out their wrong behavior.
6. Learn to Set Boundaries
In and out of the home, establishing healthy boundaries leads to a strong family. You cannot say yes to everyone, even if it disappoints them.
I recently offered to connect two mutual acquaintances for a project one was working on. Almost immediately when I offered insight to one of them they attempted to rope me in to the project. Yes, I'd be an asset, yes I work will with the other person, yes I would be a blessing to the team. No, unfortunately,I cannot help out at this time.
Setting boundaries allows you to focus on what the Lord is speaking to you at this season of life. Boundaries can be physical, emotional or spiritual and are necessary for a strong, healthy family. The book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life is an amazing resource if you're not familiar with setting healthy boundaries.
7. Create a Team Atmosphere
If you wonder if you have a control issue, try creating a team atmosphere and you'll find out. Being a team means you need to let go of some of your dictator tendencies and create an environment where every family members knows they are of value to the family. Even teams have captains, leaders, and coaches so there's no need to fear anarchy. You're not giving away parental authority, you're showing each child how they are a blessing and benefit to the family.
8. Watch Your Words
The way you talk to your children will become the inner voice they hear. The words you speak to your spouse will produce life or death. It is so easy to speak without thinking in anger, frustration, and despair yet the words we speak to each other are so important. Let your words be encouraging and uplifting. Being non-judgmental, honest, and loving now will give your family confidence to come to you in the future with their problems, challenges, and struggles.
Building a strong family bond takes intentional work Choose today to take steps toward creating an atmosphere of love, respect, and joy in your home.
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