Summer is a time of decreased stress, i.e. no homework, which can mean less conflict and more time and opportunity to build closer relationships within your family. Here are three ways to start building family closeness right away.
- Be bold and establish a “No electronics” time for the entire family. This rule applies to everyone and means not answering phones, texting, using social media, watching television, or playing video games throughout the time period. You could aim for an hour, maybe two, depending on your children’s ages and their electronic usage. The point is for all family members to be more available to play, talk, and work together. In other words, your goal is to make your family members more important than electronic distractions.
- Take time to learn how to listen to your child’s challenges and emotions. For kids, summer can mean attending camps and participating in other new experiences, which can create emotional turmoil for children of all ages. Rather than dismissing your kids’ feelings and telling them things will be better, learn about the ways in which you’re blocking communication and how to respond with empathetic phrases so that you build trust with your kids. When you listen, your kids’ believe that you will be there for them through any challenges they face.
- Start holding family meetings. Meetings provide an opportunity for each family member to bring up challenges, discuss and plan chores and/or trips, and learn how to engage in cooperative problem solving together. Cooperative problem solving teaches invaluable skills necessary for developing resilient children and creating a sense of support and community within your family.
Rather than letting the summer speed by, use this less hectic time as an opportunity to build connection and cooperation within your family. The skills you develop now will help you better address any challenges you face once your kids are back in school again in the fall.
Here are links to a few articles to help you learn more about the topics discussed in this post.
Copyright 2019 Cynthia Klein To learn more contact Cynthia Klein at www.bridges2understanding.com or call her at 650.679.8138