Bringing The Whole Family Together: How To Spark Connection

family on scrabble tiles
*This article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp

Close families don’t simply happen; rather, they are built from the ground up. Staying strong as a family requires effort, time, and consistency. The busyness of life can make it challenging to stay connected, but the security and joy that can come from a close family often make these efforts worth it.

Many people desire to bring their families together but don’t know where to begin. After all, it can be difficult to think of activities that cater to all ages and that even your teenager will be interested in. As it turns out, sparking connection may not be as much about what you do, but rather how you do it.

By making some small yet powerful positive changes within your family unit and respecting everyone’s time and interests, you can promote connection and bonding that lasts. Keep reading to learn more about some potential strategies you can use to keep your family close and explore ways to make the most of your time together.

Strategies To Spark Family Connection

Every family is different, and not everyone connects in the same way. It’s important to have a mix of methods and tactics to encourage closeness instead of relying on just one. Consider implementing the following strategies into your family unit and seeing which ones work most effectively for everyone:

  • Designate A Family Night: Picking one day out of the week to spend together as a family can help ensure that you’re consistently and intentionally seeking to connect. You might pick Sundays and do a different activity each time, whether it’s watching a movie together or getting to know each other better with a conversation-starting game. 
  • Share Meals As A Unit: It can be easy to let everyone do their own thing for dinner, but coming together as a family to enjoy a meal is a powerful way to grow closer. By sitting around the dinner table together, you can talk about everyone’s day and stay up-to-date on one another’s lives.
  • Volunteer Together: Volunteering together can be a fun and rewarding way to bond, while also giving kids the chance to recognize the concerns faced by members of their community. Depending on the interests of your family, you might go serve at a soup kitchen, visit a nursing home, or help out at the local animal shelter.
  • Attend Therapy As A Family: Going to therapy as a family can help foster closer connections while working through conflict with a professional. You don’t have to have serious concerns in order to visit a therapist; simply wanting to increase connection within your family is reason enough. To learn more about finding the right therapist for your family, it could be helpful to visit the following link: www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-family-therapist-is-right-for-us/
  • Do Chores And Cook Together: A common saying is that “teamwork makes the dream work,” which can also apply to families. Since everyone shares a common space, it’s important that each member pitches in and does their part to keep the house tidy and everyone fed. Working together to clean and cook can teach responsibility and gratefulness to children, while also cultivating a sense of accomplishment as they contribute to the group.
  • Plan Fun Activities Together: Every once in a while, try to plan something new and exciting for your family to do together. You might take a trip to the aquarium, go see a show, or take a vacation. These moments can imprint themselves as lasting memories, binding each of you closer than before. Another great idea is to try creative activities at home, such as paint by numbers custom kits that everyone can participate in. Sharing these artistic projects can spark joy and provide cherished keepsakes.
  • Have Game Nights: Game nights can be a fun way to unwind and laugh together, particularly after a busy or stressful week. If your family has been experiencing conflict lately, playing games together can help jumpstart the repair process. 
  • Get Outside Together: Being out in nature can be a major mood booster, allowing your family to enjoy one another’s company as well as the scenery. You could have a picnic together, fly kites, or go for a hike, depending on everyone’s interests and preferred level of activity.
  • Hold Family Meetings: Regular family meetings can help ensure that each member feels valued and heard. During these meetings, give each person a chance to speak and express how they feel, whether they have something positive or constructive to say. Giving a voice to each family member can make the whole unit stronger by fostering open communication and understanding.

While holding family meetings, sharing meals, and doing fun activities together are valuable steps, they are only one piece of the puzzle. After finding ways to encourage closeness within your family, it’s important to find ways to make the quality of these interactions high, which is what we’ll explore in the next section.

Food For Thought

Simply setting aside time to spend together as a family may not be enough to bring you closer if each member isn’t engaged and actively participating in connecting. It’s important to ensure that this time is quality time to make the most of it.

Removing distractions such as cell phones and video games can be helpful, as well as being respectful of everyone’s time. When planning things to do together, work around each person’s schedule to make sure there are no potential conflicts or reasons to feel rushed. Families often discover that the quality of their interactions is more important than the quantity of time spent together.

Remember that spending time with family isn’t always going to be stressful and carefree. While you’re likely to have moments of laughter and fun together, there may also be serious conversations or conflict mixed in as well. Instead of viewing these moments as obstacles, it can be helpful to view them as opportunities for deeper understanding and connection. Any relationship takes time, effort, and communication to build, and family bonds are no different.

By keeping these tips in mind and taking your family’s unique interests and needs into account, you can build a foundation on which to strengthen the connection shared among each of you.

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