Do you and your spouse pass each other by like the proverbial ships in the night? The closeness of quarantine might have left you feeling more distant rather than closer to your family. How can you improve your bond?
Healthy connections take work, including those with your nearest and dearest. Here are 10 fabulous ways to improve your family relationships and fill your home with smiles.
1. Use Your Phone
As America reopens, you and your loved ones might chomp at the bit to get out and do what you love. However, you might start to lose touch in your excitement to explore.
If your spouse works second-shift and you leave before they wake, text them at a reasonable hour to wish them a blessed day. When your teenager texts you that they’re going to the library with a friend, respond with an “I love you” instead of a thumbs-up emoji.
2. Bring Back Family Dinner
Do you miss the days when the family sat down for a meal? Fully eight out of 10 American households now find the dinner hour a logistical nightmare.
You don’t have to mandate that everyone convene at 6 p.m. nightly despite their outside obligations. However, do pick one or two nights a week to skip soccer practice and come together to enjoy a meal as a group.
3. Adopt a Hobby
Another way to get the gang together is to adopt a family hobby. Set a goal to learn about the native flora and fauna of your area, and spend sunny Saturday mornings identifying plants and animals at your nearby nature center.
If you missed out on the spring gardening craze, why not bring the fun indoors for the winter with containers? This hobby teaches your kids science and nutrition while letting everyone enjoy nurturing growing things. Plus, a sunny windowsill herb selection will take your meals to the next level.
4. Play Board Games
Are you a “hugger” who desperately misses human contact? Unless anyone in your home is infected, break out the Twister.
Board games provide an entertaining way to pass the time as a group. Try scheduling a game night once a month to help improve your family relationships.
5. Throw a Pajama Party
Who doesn’t love a midnight snack? For young children, staying up past their bedtime represents a rare treat.
Throw a family pajama party and movie night where you all drag your sleeping bags in the living room. Learn how to make the ultimate movie-style popcorn for the festivities. During the summer, you can take your evening outside on the patio — lease a projector from your local library for outdoor filmgoing.
6. Take a Road Trip
Did you end up canceling your family vacation due to COVID-19? Why not take a road trip instead?
Load up your ride with supplies and head out seeking adventure. Draw a circle on the map and have each family member choose a destination they’d like to visit within that radius. You might find attractions nearby that you never knew existed.
7. Make a Gratitude Jar
Let’s be honest: It can be challenging to find things you feel grateful for in 2020. However, if you still have those you love, you are more fortunate than most.
Why not make a gratitude jar and have each family member write one thing they feel thankful for on a slip of paper and insert it each day? When New Year’s Eve rolls around, open the jar and read what everyone wrote. You’ll see this year wasn’t as awful as it seemed.
8. Write Each Other Letters
Do you feel farther apart than ever from distant relatives because of the inability or reluctance to travel? Bring back the old-fashioned art of writing letters. You’ll help your kids improve their literacy and make grandma’s day.
If you want to make writing more fun, invest in pretty stationery and an elegant pen. Encourage young children to draw pictures your distant relatives will adore hanging on their fridge.
9. Upgrade Your Technology
Another way to keep in touch across the miles is through the miracle of technology. Nearly anyone can host a Zoom meeting or digital happy hour with Shirley Temples for the kids.
What if your loved ones aren’t too tech-savvy? If you have the means, invest in a device intended for novices, such as the GrandPad, which makes connecting as simple as clicking a button.
10. Say “I Love You”
When was the last time you told your kids you loved them or uttered that phrase to your spouse? Please don’t take it for granted that they “know” you care.
Tell your family members that you love them often. Say it before you leave for work and when you tuck the littles in at night. The world is full of unknowns, especially now — make sure those you care about most know how you feel.
Improve Your Family Relationships With These 10 Tips
It isn’t challenging to improve your family relationships. The 10 tips above can set you on the road to better harmony and appreciation of those you love most.