Fall is a hodge-podge of life events: the days seem to go more quickly, the kids return to school, and your schedule undergoes changes. Yet through all these things, you feel a sense of responsibility to your family. You strive to deepen those connections with those you love.
To enrich your family relationships, put these inspirational suggestions into action this fall:
1. Insist on having dinner together at the table each weekday evening. This can be tough to do with your work schedule and the kids in sports and after-school clubs. But make the effort!
- Studies show kids of families who sit down at the table to share a meal each day have fewer behavioral struggles than those who don’t.
- Even if you’re eating a snack together at 8 p.m. after everybody’s at home (because you had to feed the younger kids earlier), definitely make it a habit. When you establish having meals together as routine, your kids will simply accept it as something you do.
- You’ll have the daily opportunity to relate together as a family by listening to what happened in each kid’s day and hearing about their interests.
2. Schedule quality time each week with your partner and each child. How fantastic would your family relationships be if you ensured you had at least 30 minutes a week separately with each of your family members?
- You could read aloud to the four-year-old, take a bike ride with the ten-year-old, and talk about music and school with the 15-year-old.
- Maybe you could go out for coffee or a walk around the block to chat with your partner.
- Knowing what’s happening in the lives of each family member is an important strategy to deepen your connection to each person.
3. Demonstrate real interest in whatever your kids and partner are involved in. Remind yourself to ask questions about your partner’s latest project at work, your teen daughter’s French Club activities, and your ten-year-old son’s science project.
- Develop an understanding for what your family members are interested in so you can have real conversations with them about the things that matter to them.
4. Plan monthly season-themed special activities as a family. For example:
- In late September, have a wiener roast.
- In October, visit an area pumpkin patch and allow each family member to select a pumpkin to decorate.
- In November, schedule time for your family to serve the homeless at the soup kitchen during the Thanksgiving weekend.
5. Take turns and share tasks together. Make daily routines more fun by assigning each member to perform part of the task.
- For example, when preparing breakfast, have the little ones set out bowls and juice glasses while the twelve-year-old retrieves the milk, orange juice, and cereal. Teens can help a parent scramble the eggs or corral the younger ones.
- When you each take responsibility for a part of routine tasks, it promotes cooperation among all of you as a group, which will strengthen your connections to one another.
6. Share daily expressions of affection. Make it a habit to hug each other before leaving and upon arriving home, give good-night kisses, and provide hearty pats on the back for jobs well-done.
- This allows you to consistently express the love and care you feel toward your beloved family. These daily expressions of love can be the glue to ensure your family stays close and loving.
- Also, you’re teaching your kids how to do the same, and this reciprocity goes miles when it comes to enhancing the family’s relationships.
Your family relationships are the most meaningful connections you’ll ever have in your life. This fall can be an opportune time to strengthen your love. Create the family life you’ve always wanted by applying these simple strategies.