Family conflict, balancing schedules, school meetings, disrespectful behavior and relationship disconnect are very apparent signs that your family may be in trouble. But how do you stop the cycle? Where do you start? It seems there is never a good time because there is always something going on.
4 Strategies for Building Family Connections
Start meeting with each child one-on-one. Showing them interest, ask about their friends. Do not criticize. Let them do all the talking and don’t give feedback. This is one way to start building trust with your child. Slowly begin to integrate what respect means to you and how you want to continue to have time together. Teens want to know that you are there emotionally.
Family meetings is a good way to get the whole family to participate in creating rules, share what they feel about certain issues and situations in the home and to help with problem solving. This is also a good time to delegate responsibilities and roles to the children. Ask, “Who wants to be in charge of making the family menu and creating a grocery list?” This is one way to reduce a task for you.
Routine and consistency! I am sure you have all heard this before, but it really works. When everyone knows what to expect, everyone is more prepared. Don’t overkill on the routine by having pizza at the same pizza place every Friday. But routine as in getting up the same time every day, going to bed the same time every night or an afterschool routine. Be consistent with your spouse around rules and boundaries.
“It takes a village..” is true. It really does take more than you. Be open to allowing people to assist with the children, such as mentors or neighbors. Allowing family and friends to help is another support. Talk with your spouse about ways people can help the family and agree that when someone you both agree on offers to help, you will let them. This does not mean that you are not capable of raising your children. But as they grow, there are certain personalities they may be drawn to, or specific interest they may have that others can help them develop.
As parents, be open to trying new activities until you find the right fit for your family. Your family is unique and you and your spouse will need to explore through attending parenting workshops, teen events, and other programs that motivate parent involvement.