If you asked your kids what they like best about your family, what would they say? Maybe, they like the activities you do together as a family—the things you do regularly—so they can look forward to them coming again and again. Perhaps, it’s the seemingly insignificant family traditions you’ve thought up that make them swell with pride and feel like an insider in something pretty important. Or maybe, they treasure most those intimate moments you have with them alone because that’s what makes them feel so special.
Go ahead. Ask them. And then try to include more of their preferences in your family life.
You see, you can develop plans and initiate activities that are just right for your family. And you have the unique opportunity to create meaningful family rituals that bond you together, give your kids a sense of belonging and make them feel valued. When you make decisions together, it strengthens family relationships, increases family support and makes family life more fun. In fact, families who talk and plan together are more successful and happier than families who don’t.
So why not start today? Tell your kids how much your family means to you. Talk with them about how you want to create a sense of family team that keeps you close—now and as they grow older. Give them some of your thoughts about things you can implement in your family and then ask them for their ideas. Listen carefully and validate each child as he shares. Even young children love to be included in these discussions because it makes them feel so important. And remember—your kids’ ideas are just as valid as yours. If they don’t buy in to the decisions you make, they won’t commit to them. So make sure there’s plenty of discussion about each suggestion, everyone in your family has an equal vote, and you make the decisions and plans together.
As the parent, you will want to guide the discussion but not impose your ideas. So here are some suggestions you can make for creating everyday rituals that are meaningful and that will bring you closer together.