For better or for worse, family relationships play a central role in shaping an individual’s well-being across the course of their life. These relationships can be a source of comfort, guidance, and strength to draw from in times of stress. Developing and nurturing your family can also give you the lift you need to endure life’s challenges and meet your goals with confidence and courage.
Creating and maintaining strong healthy family relationships takes time, effort, and patience. With the daily pressures of work, children, and chores, it can be easy to neglect your relationships and take your loved ones for granted. Here are some suggestions to help strengthen your family relationships and ensure there is natural growth and bonding within your family.
- Work on good communication skills. Focus on listening and understanding what your family member is trying to say. Carve out time to work on communication skills by putting away phones and other devices at the dinner table so you can interact with each other.
- Establish traditions, values, and goals together. If you have already developed some family traditions, do your best to continue what you started. Sit down to discuss and reinforce values, invent new traditions, and plan how you will accomplish goals together.
- Try new things together. Play a new board game, discover a new craft, or try different foods. Choose a night each week for movies and games. If you have children, let them help make decisions about new things to try.
- Connect with distant family members. Make time to connect with long distance family members by phone, email, or video calls. Staying in touch with people outside of your home will help you feel more connected to them.
- Stay active. Physical activity can help reduce stress. Have a family dance party or set family exercise goals, schedule weekly walks together, or create competitions to see how many pushups or jumping jacks each of you can do. These activities can create moments of bonding.
- Laugh together. Find things to do that will make you laugh. Choose a funny movie to watch together, read a favorite book, or tell each other jokes.
Your Employee Assistance Program is Here to Help
If you are experiencing challenges in your family relationship, your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help you locate a counselor, mediation services, or other relationship resources. EAP can also offer assistance and counseling to your family members, including children. EAP assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, contact your Component EAP, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.