Connecting with FamilyDecember 9, 2016
Between busy schedules and geographical distance, it can be difficult to keep up with your family under ideal circumstances. But how can you keep those familial bonds strong in spite of the many challenges posed by modern life?
Find You Intention
First, you need to believe in the power of family and make the commitment that you will put in effort to stay connected with your relatives. It's important to remember that this doesn't mean that you are saying you will always like your relatives or that you won't get frustrated at the effort. Instead, it is saying to you and the people in your household that family is a priority and you will make every effort to nurture the bonds of blood that you share.
What Are the Obstacles?
Whether it's a clash of personalities and traditions or if it's geographical distance, each family has unique obstacles to overcome. Once you make it a priority, you'll give yourself the chance to identify the obstacles and start brainstorming ideas on how to build stronger connections with your family, whether it's the family by birth or family by choosing.
Helpful Hints for Connecting
Bridge the Distance: Whenever circumstances separate you from your family and friends, find a creative way to bridge the distance. Luckily for you, there are so many affordable and simple ways to stay in touch. From scheduling a weekly Skype session to keeping up on your favorite social media platforms, there are many ways to share lives happening in different parts of the country, or world.
Keep Traditions Alive: Go back to your roots as a family and continue on with family traditions, no matter how far flung you are from each other. You might find a sense of comfort knowing that even if everyone can't be together for the holidays that everyone is still keeping special traditions alive.
Become A Team: Take advantage of the distance and include everyone in the game. One idea is to come up with a family totem based on a family joke or family motto, and have everyone be on the lookout for items with the family symbol on it. Another idea is to start a Flat Stanley type of game and have family members in different parts of the world to take a picture with the special item.
Think of The Future: When the distance is more figurative, rather than literal, it can take more work and emotional fortitude to connect with your family members. But take a moment to think about the future whenever you dread getting everyone in the car to go to your in-laws house an hour away or you'd rather stay home than go to a family dinner. Is this disconnect coming from a need to create healthy boundaries or a reluctance to do difficult things requiring effort?
Remember, how you connect with your family will serve as a guide for how you are treated in return. While others won't always be in a position to reciprocate your efforts exactly, you may be surprised at the relationships that develop when you take the time to nurture these connections.