Hoping your child has been coming home and talking about the ‘Thumbs Up’ program and using language such as STOP-THINK-DO or COOL -WEAK-AGGRO.
You might like to ask them what this means and what this looks like with dealing with challenging situations. They might even want to practise this over the holidays!
Today’s article looks at ways to build a stronger bond as a family.
Enjoy the break and stay warm,
Building Family Strengths
Most families face difficult strains on time, money, and emotions. Sometimes home becomes the place where everyone is worn-out and angry. In spite of these difficulties, there are ways that families can remain strong and happy.
Building and Improving Family Strengths
- Showing you care – Expressions of caring are important. Notice positive aspects of each other. This may involve commenting on a family member’s polite behaviour, giving compliments, or paying attention to their achievements, no matter how small. Children want parents to be available – to have time, to show interest, to do things with them.
- Showing appreciation – Physical expressions are a way of showing appreciation and affection. A quick pat, a hug, a kiss, a handclasp, a high-five or an arm around the shoulder can say a lot to people of all ages.
- Accept children as individuals – With the intention of helping their child, sometimes parents talk more about a child’s mistakes than their good qualities. If parents compare, frequently correct, or ignore a child, the child may feel rejected. Help your children to feel valued by teaching them that they have talents (every child is good at something). Be patient with their weaknesses and teach them the skills to help deal with these weaknesses.
- Keep the relationship positive – Most of the messages we share with our children should be positive ones. Tell them when they please you, when they make you proud and the joy they bring you. Encourage them to tell you about their joys and accomplishments.
- Communication – Communication is more than telling each other something. It is any sharing of meaning between people. However, miscommunication sometimes occurs because we may have different meanings to the people we are communicating with. To build strong family relationships, communicate about each others’ interests, activities and feelings.
- Listen to your children – When parents actively listen to their children, they help them feel understood and show that they care about how they feel.
- Take time to listen carefully to what your child is saying (i.e., turn off the television)
- Summarise what your child has said or ask questions to check your understanding
- Listen if your child wants to correct your misunderstanding or tell you more
- See if you can identify what your child is feeling and check with them
- Send clear, encouraging messages – When correcting their children’s mistakes, parents may nag, criticise, lecture, question or demand. When trying to teach children to be responsible, it is important to send a clear message to children that they can make mistakes or break rules, for which there are consequences but that they will still be loved and accepted.
- Working together – When a family works well together to solve family problems, parents are the leaders, but the children’s opinions and efforts are invited and appreciated. Children will be more likely to accept decisions when they participate in the decision-making process.
- Adapting to change – Family relationships are more likely to remain strong if family members are understanding of common changes such as birth, marriage, divorce, illness, job loss and death. As children grow, families must adapt to their developmental level.