There is no question that having a strong family behind them helps teenagers of all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds overcome whatever challenges they are facing. For some families, creating and keeping strong bonds seems effortless. But we hear from many families who want those strong bonds but who are struggling to create them or who are concerned about how to keep those bonds strong throughout the teen years. Creating strong family bonds is a constantly evolving process but there are some things you can do as parents to create the right environment for those bonds to develop and strengthen no matter the age of your children or the challenges your family faces.
Here are some of the things you can do to create and maintain a strong bond within your family.
1. Be on Each Other’s Side
One of the most important things strong families have is a sense of loyalty to each other. Sticking together and sticking up for one another, especially when times are tough, builds those bonds. Be cheerleaders for each other and make sure everyone in the family knows that when they need help or support the rest of the family will always be there for them.
2. Unconditionally Love Each Other
Sometimes all of us feel like we are unlovable but one consistent thing about strong families is that each member knows that no matter how unlovable they might act, their family members will always love them. Unconditional love is a powerful force and expressing it is one of the ways you can strengthen the bonds that tie you all together.
3. Laugh, A Lot
The family that laughs together will always be able to see the light side, make light of dark things, and find balance when everything in their lives is off. Being able to laugh together helps ease tension and creates a feeling of solidarity. Beware that laughing at each other is not the same as laughing with each other and can yield very different results.
4. Put Family First
If family time and the needs of family members are not first of the priority list, the family as a whole will suffer. Everyone has busy schedules filled with important things that need to be attended to. Make sure that your family is always at the top of that list of important things.
5. Be Grateful for Each Other
No one is perfect and there are undoubtedly things about everyone in our family that we would love to change if we could but that doesn’t mean there aren’t also many things for which we should be grateful. Honest appreciation for skills, achievements, and personality traits are what build self-esteem. Showing appreciation for each other and for each member’s contribution to the family is a tenet of strong families.
6. Talk to Each Other
Communication is critical to creating and keeping strong family bonds. If you aren’t spending time together, talking to each other, discussing important issues, and sharing experiences, your family bond will suffer. This is why family dinners and family meetings can be so effective at building stronger bonds.
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