A strong family unit is important for every child, whether it’s blood family or friends-like-family. In fact, it’s one of the four keys to your child’s youth sports success.
I believe very strongly in the importance of family and so I want to take a few minutes and give you some ideas for helping your family grow–and stay growing–strong.
A Strong Family Works on Communication
How well do you listen to each other? This means putting down phones and turning off the TV when important conversations are happening. Don’t let your kids bring their phones to the table, whether you are eating out or at home. They may roll their eyes, but it’s important that you foster an environment where everyone has to work on communicating.
Learn the art of asking good questions. Not accusatory ones, but gentle probing ones that don’t allow for Yes and No answers.
You may get resistance at times, but don’t let that deter you. Honest, respectful communication is vital to a healthy family.
And it’s something that you will have to continue to be intentional about as your family grows and scatters. As the youngest of six siblings, we are all located around the country and we have to work on communicating with each other. I’ve actually found this pretty awesome website called Famlu where you can build a family website. I’m excited to try it out for my long distance family!
A Strong Family Supports Each Individual
No favoritism for one child’s stage over the other. Whether it’s sports, music or drama, give each child equal billing. Take turns attending their events. Dad goes to one; Mom goes to the other. Then they switch.
Dads, pay as much attention to your daughter’s non-sporting events as you do to your sons’ sporting events.
Encourage your kids to support each other by going to each other’s games and events and cheering for them. Who cares if one child is not interested in the other’s sport? Teach them to support each other anyway.
A Strong Family Carves Out Time for Each Other
The older your kids get, the harder this becomes. They get busy, start driving, and want their independence, but don’t let that be an excuse for neglecting family time.
Make it work, some how, some way. It will look different for every family, but make a point of planning family time, whether it’s a vacation, weekly meals together, outings, or hanging out at home. I really don’t think the venue is as important as the fact that the family is together on a regular basis. When your kids are little, it’s obviously going to happen all the time, but as they grow, you will have to fight to stay consistent with this.
My kids are all in their 20s now and don’t live in our home, although they live in our city. We’ve carved out every Sunday night as cookout night at Mom and Dad’s and we will continue to do it as long as they live in this area.
A Strong Family Has Fun Together
I’m a firm believer in the importance of laughter in the home. In fact, I advocate silliness on a regular basis.
Even if you are not a silly-type, it’s okay. I’m not, but I still managed to find ways to be silly. Sometimes I had to work at it, but I never regretted the laughter with my kids.
Strong families are one of the anchors your child needs in his or her life. If you don’t have family nearby, find a substitute and start building that bond with your kids.
This post was sponsored by Famlu.
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