Building a healthy family relationship is essential for families of all types. Whether it is a married couple, a family of four or a single mother and her adopted child, families thrive on love. Without a healthy family relationship, it can feel like someone has no one to turn to in times of crisis. Yet family members are there for you whenever you need them. Healthy family relationships don’t come automatically-they come with time and effort.
Eat dinner together as a family every night. Eating together as a family is a healthy habit that helps to bring everyone together. Parents.com states that eating together teaches children proper etiquette and also encourages them to eat healthier foods. Even if you don’t have children, eating together allows you relax from the busy pace of work and discuss the day. Parents.com recommends planning meals so dinner is on the table at about the same time every night.
Spend recreational time together doing activities that each of your family members enjoys. You can play board games together every Friday night, join a family sporting league or read a book together. The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension states that even though it can be challenging to make time for families, creating regular family rituals, such as fun events, can help you reconnect each week and get to know each other better. Spending regular time together is what makes a family a tight unit.
Respect each other’s personal space. If your husband asks for some alone time, give it to him. Don’t snoop through your teenagers' things when they aren’t around. Everyone needs some time alone, and respecting privacy is one of the things that builds solid relationships. The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension states that if you have multiple children, it’s important to give each one of them time alone with you, as the parents. Take your son to a sporting event while your spouse takes your daughter to a children’s movie. Alone time with parents helps children feel special.
Allow everyone in the family to openly communicate feelings. The Center for Young Women’s Health at Children’s Hospital of Boston states that to maintain a healthy family relationship, each member must be able to communicate freely with one another, as well as listen effectively. Listening allows you to learn more about your family members’ thoughts and personalities, and communicating allows you to express yourself to relieve frustrations and other emotions. Try never to interrupt a family member. Instead, listen until he is finished, then relate how you feel. This effective type of communication prevents and solves arguments, keeping the family relationship healthy.