The family can be a source of true joy and love. Family relationships offer us unconditional support and are important for every member of the family unit.

Positive, healthy relationships are built on foundations of trust, respect, love and understanding. These relationships can also be expanded and family bonds can be strengthened to keep relationships healthy for the long haul.

Families that come together and share positive experiences build strong family relationships. They cultivate a strong family bond by experiencing positive emotions and uniting through common family goals.

Here are some areas where families can come together and build a strong bond.

Family interests and activities

One way to build a strong emotional connection is to engage in enjoyable and pleasant activities together. Figure out what each member of your family likes to do and spend time together involved with these activities. These may be recreational activities, games, or general hobbies. Try to find sources of fun and amusement that everyone can enjoy.

Religious, spiritual, or cultural beliefs

Cultivating a spiritual relationship and sharing in this as a family can be very inspiring and healing during tough times. Having a belief system that is shared amongst family members can be very unifying. If you don’t have clear and virtuous beliefs — work to develop them, and learn how best to communicate family beliefs as well as how to live these out in daily life.

Family values and traditions

What values and traditions are most important to your family? These are things that can bring people together and give moral direction. What values do you teach in your family? Maybe you focus on the importance of honesty, integrity, forgiveness, generosity, or caring. Whatever it is figure out what is most important to your family, and embrace family traditions that offer a sense of identity and belonging.

Employment and education

School is a major part of a child’s life just as work is a major part of an adult’s life. As a parent, engage children in your career. Discuss what you do at work and teach them about it. This can help kids feel involved in your adult world, and it can be an effective way to teach work ethic and get kids to feel pride in working around the house. On a similar note, show interest in your child’s education and explore their favorite subjects and special skills. Show them you care about what they are learning, not just about their grades.

Physical health and staying active

Do things that are active and exciting as a family. It’s fine for kids to play video games and watch television, and this may be a way to relate to them, but get kids to be active and involved with athletics or hiking outdoors. Exercise and staying healthy is also important for psychological well-being and is an important protective factor for overall health.

Begin to mobilize your family strengths and enhance areas of positivity. Unify your family unit and come together through similar interests, beliefs and values.

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