Most of us like the idea of having closer bonds with our family members, whether we’re reaching out to parents, uncles, aunts, and other elders, or are trying to start and raise a family of our own. Just by being family, some type of bond exists. But if you want to feel closer and support each other better, you’ll need to work to make that bond stronger.
What Makes for a Stronger Bond?
What exactly makes a family bond stronger?
- It’s much easier to build bonds with people when you have grounding in consistency. If you have a ritual you follow every night, or even once a month, it builds familiarity and comfort.
- It’s also important to create an environment where intimacy is possible. If you’re all staring at your smartphones or are distracted with something, you’re not sharing things with one another. Try to dedicate undivided attention to each other in a close environment.
- New experiences are easier to store as memories; they also tend to be emotionally more powerful. Going to new places, trying new things, and having other new experiences can make bonding much easier.
- Though relaxing can also help people bond, new connections tend to be more powerful with exertion. Doing something physically or mentally challenging can bring people closer together.
Ideas for Closer Bonds
Following these tenets, try using these ideas to form closer, stronger bonds with your family members:
- Go boating. Boating is an incredibly accessible hobby. In many areas, you won’t need a license to operate a boat, and if you do need one, it’s easy to get. If you buy a used boat, you can often find an affordable option that’s still highly functional. And once you get the boat, you can use it for almost any activity on the water, such as fishing, wakeboarding, or just relaxing in the summer sun. It’s also a great opportunity to have conversations and grow closer to each other, and you can do it regularly.
- Take vacations. Nothing introduces you to more novelty than taking a vacation. On vacation, you’ll get a chance to explore a new place, immerse yourself in a new culture, and enjoy new activities together. Vacations can be stressful and somewhat expensive, but if you can afford to take one per year, your family will have a great opportunity to grow closer.
- Hike in the woods. If you’re looking for something less expensive and closer to home, you can explore new territory by hiking in the woods. You’ll have peace and quiet that you can use to have soft conversations with each other. You can also identify various species of life in the forest, including animals, plants, and even fungi.
- Go camping. You can take your hiking experience to the next level by going camping. Camping forces you to completely disconnect from electricity and the internet, sometimes for days at a time. It’s the perfect opportunity to unwind, share thoughts, feelings, and memories with each other, and learn new skills – like building a fire.
- Cook and talk over dinner. Build closer family bonds by committing to cooking dinner every night – and having good conversation while enjoying that dinner together. It’s an opportunity to teach new skills to the kids, explore new tastes and cooking techniques, and show off with some advanced culinary creations. You’ll eat healthier, tastier food, and create a ritual that you can enjoy every night of the week.
- Practice healthy communication. It’s a simple habit, but an important one if you want to be closer. Freely express your thoughts and feelings to each other. Practice active listening. Ask engaging questions. The more frequently you use these tactics, the more mutual trust and confidence you’ll create – and you can use them any time!
- Try new hobbies. Don’t settle for what you already know. Consider taking on new activities and hobbies on a regular basis. Learn new things together, engage in new groups, and visit new places to get the greatest value.
- Create photo albums. Want to get even more out of the new activities, hobbies, and rituals you’ve created with your family? Consider creating tangible photo albums with snapshots from all these experiences. Take pictures frequently when having family time, then arrange those pictures in an album you can review anytime you want to conjure those old memories.
Feel free to experiment and try different things on your own; there’s no right or wrong way to bond with your family. Just make sure you’re finding activities that everyone can enjoy together. Sooner or later, you’ll find the right combination of hobbies, exercises, and adventures to bring you closer together.