When families spend extended time with one another, it can be easy to get caught up in the little things and forget about the big picture.
In order to make lasting relationships with family members, we need to find ways to establish a strong connection among all of them — grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.
If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your family relationships this holiday season, check out these tips. Strong connections don’t just happen; they take work. But when you put in that effort, it goes a long way toward creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.
Set Ground Rules
Whenever and wherever families connect, there are bound to be some family feuds. But when you set some ground rules for resolving these feuds, you can prevent them from escalating into serious family problems.
For example, decide in advance how you’ll handle different types of family members, such as extended family members, in-laws, or significant others. Establish what communication expectations you’ll have, and decide how you’ll address issues that cause conflict.
You can also set ground rules for how you’ll handle family gatherings. For example, will you allow politics or religion at the table? What should you do if a family member is disrespectful toward someone else?
Whatever ground rules you set, you should be sure to follow through with consequences if someone breaks the rules. This will help keep your family gatherings a positive experience.
Have an Activity Day
Family members can create strong connections by doing things together that they enjoy. This can be anything from a day at a local theme park to a day of baking cookies. Anything you do is a great opportunity to build memories and strengthen ties with each other.
Talking about what you did and sharing your thoughts and feelings about it can help you strengthen connections with your loved ones afterwards. You can also have one family member host an activity day for the rest of the family. Your parents, for example, might host a family game night. Or your grandparents might host a cooking class for the younger generations. Whatever you do, it’s important to follow through.