How many of us are aware that there is an International Day of Families?
Isn’t it amazing to know that the UN has declared a day to create awareness on issues relating to this most important social institution!
15th May is observed as International Day of Families every year. Each year a theme is also announced for this day. The theme for 2022 is “Families and Urbanization”.
Why is family important?
If we close our eyes and recall our childhood days, for most of us, the memories would revolve around our family. A family is the first safe haven for a child and provides the much-needed love and support. It also teaches us values and plays a role in shaping our attitude towards various issues in life. An ideal family environment gives all members the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
However, there may be times when we may not feel valued or loved by our families. Is there something we can do to nurture healthy relationships with our kinsfolk?
Building good relationships in the family
To build stronger ties with our family members, we have to make consistent efforts and work on our relationships. Mutual respect and love are the key ingredients to good relationships in a family. Here are some ways which can help to strengthen our bonds.
- Have Meals Together- Remember the age-old saying, ‘A family that eats together, stays together’. Nowadays, most of us have hectic schedules. To make the effort and take out time to have as many meals with our family members can go a long way in developing our relations.
- Spend Quality Time with Family- We can plan many interesting activities with our family, like cooking a meal together on weekends, playing indoor or outdoor games or watching movies with them, to name a few.
- Gadgets are taking up too much space in our life, both mental and physical. Decide upon a digital fasting time when no family member uses any device and utilize that time for family bonding.
- Mark digital-free zones such as bedroom, dining table, kitchen, bathroom, and motorized vehicles where no family member uses a gadget.
- All of us like to feel significant and valued. Engaging children in household activities helps them to feel significant and to learn essential life skills.
- Sharing interesting anecdotes and stories by parents and grandparents makes children aware of family values and helps them develop an understanding of earlier times. I have often observed family members bonding over such stories in family get-togethers.
- Keep channels of communication open. Active listening and a non-judgmental attitude are the essentials for good communication.
- Conflict Resolution Skills- Conflicts are a part of any healthy relationship. If conflicts are mismanaged, they can cause a lot of harm to our relationships. However, if conflicts are resolved in a healthy manner, it can help in growth and strengthening of relationships. Hence, learning conflict resolution skills becomes important for families.
- Understanding the primary love language of our family members and expressing love in that way makes them feel loved and appreciated. Dr. Gary Chapman, Ph.D., best-selling author of many books including, ‘The Five Love Languages’, has identified 5 basic love languages. Each person has a primary love language and feels loved when it is expressed that way. Recognizing our own love language and that of our loved ones can build stronger bonds.
A loving and supportive family is a true blessing. Share with us some of your happy moments with your family.
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