5 Ways to Reconnect With Your Family on a Daily Basis
Whether you’re about to start your own family, or are ten years in and trying to negotiate the school runs, the weekend practices and friend meet-ups, we all need some time to recuperate.
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If you’re one of those people who view your family as your rock, then you’ve probably also been on a rollercoaster journey with them, through good times and bad. Staying connected with each of your family members is the ultimate path to household harmony. But, that’s easier said than done!
So, here are five unique ways to reconnect with your family, and bring you all closer together:
Cut Out the Noise
In our instant world today, where every message has to be replied to immediately, and every email announces its own arrival, sometimes your phone can demand more time from you than your family.
Make sure you’re setting time aside to hang out together and share your thoughts on the day. Bringing everyone into the same physical space allows you to focus on each other and really listen. Cut out the noise of the outside world, don’t let your thoughts drown amongst the flurry of everyday information that passes through each household. Make time for the ones you love most and share experiences you can reflect on in the future. Even half an hour around the table for a home-cooked meal will do.
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Sharing an awkward or trying experience can be difficult – we’ve all been there! If your child is experiencing this for the first time, it is really important that you’re there for them and are listening with open ears.
But don’t forget your elders! Some of the most intriguing family stories I’ve ever heard were from my grandfather. He told me stories about the time he was asked to join training for the national football team when the regular goalkeeper hadn’t shown up; the force of the ball knocked him into the back of the net! And about the day he met my grandmother, having watched her through the windows of his house to try to decide if she was “worth his time.” The air filled with cigar smoke, as I would listen to him tell me story after story while we played backgammon. It brought us so much closer together – I loved hearing his stories and he loved telling them.
Don’t Be Shy to Share
Storytelling has existed for centuries as a way of bringing families and communities closer together through education. Sharing your own highlights and lowlights with someone can bring them out of their shell, open their mind to a topic they’d never dwelt on before, or create a bond you never expected to develop.
The impact on the listener is endless. You never know just how much someone learns from or finds comfort in what you have to say, or how your personal experience could end up shaping their lives, too. Often, the best way to learn is from experience; if you can learn a valuable lesson through the experiences of others, it can save you a lot of time and effort having to find out for yourself!
Journal Your Life
Keeping a diary is not only a therapeutic method for you to help keep everything in perspective, it’s also a great habit to teach your kids. Keeping a journal can be a constant source of personal support in one’s life. By routinely keeping a diary, confessing your fears and delighting in your successes, it brings you one step closer to understanding yourself.
The best part about it is that you can look back at previous dates from time to time, and relive your favorite moments. Why not take this a step further, and share this with your kids? I really enjoyed hearing about my grandfather’s experiences meeting my grandmother for the first time, so I’m sure your children would love to hear about the person you are beyond your role as a parent, too. Understanding each other on a deeper level helps you connect, drawing the family closer.
Out and About
Getting out of the house can work wonders for your mindset and body. It doesn’t have to break the bank, either. This fall, try and create some heartwarming memories that your children will reflect on for years to come.
Seasonal memories are the best. By the time your kids have grown up and left home, they’ll be looking back on their memories of family activities in the fall and winter months. Take them out to play in piles of amber leaves, have snowball fights, maybe even host your own chestnut wars!
Bringing your family together is one of the most precious achievements of a lifetime. I look forward to discussing a range of topics, from celebrating milestones, to building strong relationships between your children and their grandparents, and much more.
What do you do to bring your family together? I’d love to hear about your experiences of bringing your family together, too! Let me know via @rutgernow on Twitter and use #familyeducation.
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Rutger is the Founder & CEO at StoryTerrace, a start-up company which enables people to publish their life story by matching them with professional editors and writers, and then printing the book.