How to Create Deep Family Connection
A Simple Tool to Creating Long-Lasting Connection in Your Family
As a mother of two, I have to admit that the best moments of my day are when my two kids connect and get along with each other. Seeing them play together, laugh and bond moves something very deep inside me and fills me with a joy that is hard to describe in words.
It’s a mom’s greatest desire and hope.
There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling for a parent than seeing your family connect and grow up in mutual support and harmony.
Yet, these days there are quite a few hurdles we need to overcome to create this sense of connection.
Our busy schedules also make it harder for us to maintain the level of closeness that we hope to have with our kids.
More than ever, we need more tools and focus on creating a connected family atmosphere.
So here’s a great, simple tool that you can incorporate into your family’s routine.
Family Table Discussions
Having family discussions is an important habit that can help your family members open up to each other, and feel happier and more connected.
All you need to do is sit around the table with your kids when you are having a meal, and take turns sharing something you want to talk about.
Whether it’s how your day was, or a topic you feel important to open up with your family. Just make sure everyone gets an equal opportunity to talk and express themselves, adding something positive to the conversation.
Getting used to listening to each other like that is a great way to infuse your family with a sense of belonging and togetherness.
You might be saying: “but my kids are way too young to have a family discussion!”
The truth is, children, learn from example! So the sooner you begin having discussions with them, the better.
In fact, you can begin practicing it as a couple, even before you have children, and certainly from birth onwards.
Because even when they’re little and can’t understand much, they can already sense that there is this family ritual where everyone sits together and talks to each other.
In the beginning you the parents do most of the talking, but the example you give will build the patterns in their minds and behavior.
Wondering what you should talk about? Well, it doesn’t have to be formal. Talk about your day, what happened to you at work, in the street, whatever you would like to share.
Your kids will get the hang of it, and gradually, you will see that they want to talk too!
They will start opening up, and even babies that can’t talk yet will want to participate and be noticed. So make sure to give everyone a go! Give your baby a turn and let him respond in whatever way he can, whether it’s speaking in gibberish, smiling or just dribbling and being cute.
Your expectation will draw a response from your baby, and soon enough you’ll be surprised by what they have to share!
This habit of taking turns talking, and hearing you talk about yourself, will help your kids be more open about what goes on in their lives as they grow up and go to daycare, school and onwards.
It will give your family precious moments of connection where everyone sits together without interruptions and feels the shared space called “family”, where each one contributes something to create a greater whole.
When the Kids Grow Older
You may want to have a discussion once or twice a week, or even more. And as the kids grow older, you can expand it from a few minutes to an hour or longer.
In longer discussions, take a situation that happened in the family to talk about, or even just talk about why it’s important for us to be together in this way.
Invite your kids to decide whether we should change the discussion rules or what it means for us to feel equal.
You can use the discussion as a cooperative way to make “family rules” and decide on family resolutions to try and keep until next time you sit and talk.
So let’s summarize:
Important tips to having a great family discussion
- Ask a question. Have everyone take turns answering, open their hearts, share and even raise doubts or problematic issues for others to relate to.
2. Make sure to give each participant an equal turn. In the discussion everyone is equal! Here, everyone has the same rights and opportunities, no matter their age.
3. When one person speaks, everyone listens. Made sure no one hogs the time so that everyone gets a chance to talk.
4. Optional: use a “listening tool”- a small object of your choice, to pass around so that only the person holding it can speak while everyone else listens.
5. Make sure to keep your discussion positive. Have each person add to what has already been said. Negating, criticizing or gossiping are out of bounds :)
6. Try to sense the connection that is building up in the center of the table, as each person adds their point of view and emotion to the circle.
7. To end the discussion, summarize, set goals and make family resolutions for the future. You can hold hands or sing a song!
Make discussions a sacred ritual in the family. A time where no one runs off to their room or looks at their phone.
This habit will gradually solidify the sense of togetherness in your family which you will enjoy for years to come!