In an ever-changing world with constantly shifting trends, there are some things that we should hold fast to. One of the most important things would be to strengthen family relationships. The family has been the most integral foundational component of society and we have proven that with the Covid-19 pandemic. The power of family relationships is often brushed off in order to tend to seemingly endless emails, text messages, work deadlines, and social media.
Now, more than ever, families need to stop focusing on extraneous influences and start turning inward towards each other.
What can you do to strengthen family ties that bind?
Religion and spiritual practices have been at the center of many conflicts, and yet they may be the very thing that can bring you back together.
Strengthen family relationships through the following practices that foster a deeper, spiritual connection.
1. The Family That Prays Together
Regardless of what your denomination or belief system is, there is a good chance that you believe in something greater than humanity. Even if you do not attend a regular church or temple service, you can still practice your faith at home.
There are resources that can help unite your family around a common practice: prayer.
Incorporating children into the prayer time can seem tricky at first, especially if they are not accustomed to it or do not understand the meaning.
You can start off by asking your children to think of something they think is important, like food or a beautiful home. Gather around and create a simple prayer revolving around those two prayer intentions.
Add your own petitions so that they can hear what prayer sounds like. The more you practice family prayer, the children will get used to it. Pray together during family mealtimes, too.
2. Make Gratitude Prominent
Whether you have small children or tweens, they are constantly bombarded with negative ideas. News on TV cycle around violence, hate, calamities, and death. These all convey messages of heartache and sorrow.
Create an attitude of gratitude around your among your family members. The attitude should be centered on giving thanks for good things in life. This will help counteract the lasting effects of negativity and a self-centered view of the world.
Every evening, gather the family and start out by asking everyone to think of three things they are grateful for. It can be something as simple as a favorite stuffed animal or deeper such as a friend’s improved health.
It is best to share these prayer items aloud so that everyone can share in thanksgiving. It won’t take long before you notice an improved attitude centered on gratitude.
3. Lead by Example
Your kids look at you, period. Most of their behaviors and beliefs, especially when they are still at developing ages, are emulated from you.
If you eat broccoli enthusiastically, your 5-year-old son is more likely to do the same. Or, if you constantly quarrel with your wife, your children will most likely carry the stigma as well as the tone of voice and bad language when they grow up.
If you spend hours on the phone scrolling through news feeds and tweets, your kids will likely spend the same amount of time on their tablets.
Make a real effort to have digital free days, whether that is during the week or the weekend. Set screen limits for yourself as well as your kids. If they notice you are putting your electronics down at the same time, they will more likely to follow you.
Fill the time with family activities, like playing a board game. Or you can all read or do some crafts together. During this time your family can start to build a more spiritually-centered home filled with honesty, understanding, and love.
Love of Family
During difficult times, people tend to reach for something to provide comfort. Try to ensure that your kids understand how important your family unit is.
Assure them that you are there to rally around and help during trying times. Building a practice of prayer, gratitude, and quality time can help drive home the importance of putting family first. Eventually, this will strengthen family relationships.