Family bonding: Strengthening relationships during the school holiday season
Family bonding: Strengthening relationships during the school holiday season
To improve family bonding, prioritising family time is the key and holidays are the best time time to work this out
Strength of relationship stands on the four pillars of trust, love, respect and understanding
Nations are built in the image of the societies developing within them and great societies are made up of thriving families, bond together as a force of love and care.
A family is a microcosm of the society. A balanced, nurturing and caring family will help build an empathetic, compassionate and just society.
Families have traditionally worked to hold the flock together before the individuals went ahead and built their own flocks. It’s a chain that goes back all the way to ancient civilisations. A loving, strong and vibrant family is the true human heritage.
A family that doesn’t bond together fragments very easily. Detached from the family, individuals become vulnerable against the excesses and exploitation of the world, hence it is important for us to work towards keeping the institution of family strong and thriving.
For families to become strong and nurturing, we need to develop an atmosphere of love, care and empathy, and this happens only with constant efforts of bonding within members of the family.
To improve family bonding, prioritising family time is the key and holidays are the best time time to work this out.
However, bonding doesn’t happen only through love and care or spending of time. But, more importantly the time spent on establishing justice, dignity and empathy under our roofs.
Like the society we live in, our home comprises of a group of diverse individuals. Every family member, however similar they are in looks and traits, is distinct, diverse and dynamic and this needs to be respected.
For a family to thrive as a group and for each member to blossom within the family while maintaining all of his or her distinctions, we need to develop a culture of tolerance and respect at home.
Inculcating these values among children is not easy, but it is not impossible. In fact, with the right policies and approach, it is highly achievable.
Bonding is the glue that holds us together and despite the distraction of the daily life it needs to be prioritised, as the benefits of family bonding positively impact all aspects of our lives.
At the individual level, those who are part of a positive family atmosphere are likely to cope better with stress and demonstrate healthier behaviour.
Latest research on relationship management has shown that those who have strong family dynamics are more composed in their approach to life, have better mental health and higher levels of self esteem.
Similarly, children from well-knit families with strong internal bond have seen to be more resilient with better abilities to overcome challenges – academic, professional as well as personal.
Bonding serves as a protective shield for children as well as other family members when the face the world.
But, how does bonding happen?
Bonding happens when family members make space for each other and prioritise each other’s preferences, interests and choices.
When this happens, an increased sense of the self arises, with the children developing a greater understanding of one’s own identity.
An improved sense and a better understanding of the self will pave the way for heightened levels of confidence among the children. As they grow up, this clarity will help them take better decisions and become problem solvers.
Consistent positive affirmation of their place in the family also allows children and other family members to understand their place in the world and develop stronger relationships with people around them, wherever they go.
What does strengthening relationships mean?
A strong relationship stands on four pillars – love, respect, trust, and understanding. Strengthening of the relationship calls for creating deeper connections within the family and that happens when the sanctity of the four pillars are maintained all the time.
Trust, love, respect and understanding will increase only with the family getting together more and more over meals, games, learning, creating things together, open discussions, social activities, travels etc.
Open and respectful communication is essential in developing better understanding within the family and it also helps family members better understand each other’s perspectives and feelings.
Ultimately, strengthening family ties helps create a safe and supportive environment where all members can thrive.
Here are some of the collective steps that can be taken to improve family bonding during holidays:
Before we move on to the actions required to improve bonding, family members need to understand the vision and mission that keep the family together.
Family members need to understand that the family is like a team working together for a common cause and each member has a role to play in the survival and success of the family as a whole. In order to achieve this goal, the family has to stick together and constantly work towards improving their relationship and prefer the interests of the family over their own selves.
Being creative together is one of the best ways to connect with our children. It is an exciting way to start meaningful conversations, inculcate important values and generate joy together. Discussions come up and bonding happens naturally when we sit down to colour, paint, play or craft together.
Family fun activities not only help us bond but also give us a sense of togetherness. It brings disparate individuals living under a roof to one common purpose, helping us form a union that is not just capable of eating together but is also equally committed to loving and working together.
Spending fun time with our children is essential for their balanced upbringing and for developing a happy, healthy and responsible family.
One of the best ways to develop a deeper bond is playing games together. It could be something as simple as ‘blindfold,’ treasure hunt or charades. Board and card games could also be great fun together.
You can also innovate or explore family games from different parts of the world and see what can be incorporated at your home to bring in an element of fun and bonding.
As little as 30 minutes everyday during holidays could go a long way in injecting the much need element of joy and togetherness in the family.
Baking or Cooking
The saying goes that too many cooks spoil the broth, but when it comes to family bonding, cooking or baking together could help add spice to your relationship.
Helping your children experiment with food is a nourishing way of bonding and garnishing your life.
Children love cookies and cakes, baking them together could be a fun way to connect creatively as a family.
Travel is one of the best ways to bring people closer and discover each other. If done with the right intentions and proper planning, travels could be a great source of bonding within the family.
Travel either brings out the best or worst among people. Since we are out of our comfort zones, we are vulnerable during travels and this helps bring out our true characters. This gives us opportunities to either affirm the good characteristics or carefully correct unfavourable tendencies.
As the saying goes, the journey is more important than the destination. Hence, the idea of the travel should not be just to reach a location or do certain activities, but to have as much fun together on the road, discussing life, understanding each other’s dreams and reconciling between the choices of every member of the family.
Camping is also among the best ways to connect with your children.
Most children love outdoors but the post-modern lifestyle restricts our movements and connections with the natural world.
It is not only the best way to get them off the screens and build children’s appreciation of nature, but it is also a great way to bond.
We can have the best results of camping only when we are unplugged from everything and totally absorbed in the experience.
With the abundant energy that the children have, they will enjoy the exposure to the nature more than adults. This will help them uncover their true selves and help us discover new aspects of their personalities.