How do you get a stronger relationship with your family?
I have a great relationship with my children, something I am very proud of. I work hard at building stronger relationship with each child and so far I am winning the battle. As we head deep into the teenage years, my window of being ‘Mum of the year‘ is getting smaller and smaller. I’m willing to do extra work, go the extra mile if it means that my relationship with my children stays healthy.
Then I began to assess the other relationships around me. Life isn’t just my little family on its own in a secure bubble. There are others who surround us constantly, wanting to be part of our circle and us part of theirs.
I am one of 5 children and each sibling of mine has had children. I am lucky both my parents are still alive (one is remarried) and I have 24 cousins on one side. I am very close to my 3 sisters (hi Gabe, Meg and Amy) and my brother (I will say hi to Tim but I know he won’t read this post). I love their choices in partners and adore all my nieces and nephews.
Recently we went away camping with most of my siblings and my Mum and her beautiful partner Pete. It was just what I needed to remind me that I needed to start looking at life the way I use to. I know we are all busy (I read about time poor EVERYDAY) but it is the relationships that surround us, that will ultimately be with us forever that also need to be worked on. Whilst camping, I reconnected with 3 of my gorgeous nieces Maddie, Tassie and Em and my nephew Mitch. I didn’t realise just how much I missed them and missed having a stronger relationship with them.
I want my nieces and nephews ( 6 girls and 4 boys) to look to me if they are ever in trouble. I want them to be able to talk to me if they can’t talk to their parents. And I also want my children to feel the same way about my siblings.
So I have created 8 tips about getting that stronger relationship with your family, and something that should be worked on all the time, because you never know when you will need each other:
- Have strong communication. Make sure they know that you are available to them if they ever need you. Get to know them, their friends, their likes/dislikes and actually want to be part of their life.
- Be a good listener. There is one thing to say you are a good listener and another to actual be one. If you see something they might like, send them a text or a picture or even pick up the phone and call them. They will soon realise that you do care and do listen.
- Spend time together. Sometimes this can be easier said than done but it can be simple things like going shopping together, heading out for a walk or asking them to join you at a sporting event.
- Be a mentor. When you have younger nieces, nephews or cousins it is important they have an older figure to look up to. Being a strong and reliable role model is the first way to start building stronger relationships as they will want to be part of your life.
- Laughter is the key. Life can be so serious and teenagers can take it even more seriously than adults. When your family are around you it is essential to enjoy each others company with lost of laughing – real belly-wobbling laughs.
- Have their back. Families need to show loyalty and feel secure that no matter what happens, your family will always have your back. As children grow into teens, this security begins to wane a little and insecurities creep in so developing a stronger relationship will help squash these insecurities.
- Respect is a two-way street. Teenagers thrive on respect and supports their need to be loved. Showing our families respect and receiving it in return cements the bond in the relationship, making it deeper and more fulfilling.
- Find a common ground. When there is a massive age difference, it can be difficult to find a common interest. There needs to be something that you can keep going back to and rely on when you get together. It doesn’t have to be anything grand but when you find it, cherish it and the little relationship with soon flourish.
Do you have a strong and healthy relationship with your family? What do you do to build a stronger relationship?
The bonds between family, all family not just siblings and parents, should be strong. Luckily for me, that is the case with everyone in my family. Having a close family relationship is something that is very important for both my mum and my dad. Whilst we may not see each other as often as we might like, I know that my family will always be there for me.
Over the school holidays we went away camping for a few days with Mum’s side of the family. Those few days we spent with limited technology access and no wi-fi, forced my cousins and I into spending quality time together (not that we wouldn’t have anyway but no wi-fi means we have no distractions). When we were little, my cousins were among the people closest to me but with high school and busy schedules we have drifted apart slightly but holidays like these always bring us back together.
I know that my aunties, uncles and grandparents (on both sides of my family) will be there for me no matter what issue I face. I know that I would be able to turn to them for any problem I have and not worry about being judged. Behind my parents, my older relatives would probably be the first people I would turn to in a situation where I need help.
For me, the best part of being close with my family is the acceptance I get from everyone around me. They all accept me, and everyone else in the family, for exactly who we are. Whether you’re considered a bit of a nerd (sadly that is who I am to most of my cousins) or the family clown (that’s a title that goes out to pretty much everyone in my family), I love that you can be accepted by the people who were born to love you.
I’m lucky to have such close family ties, as I know that many families around me aren’t as lucky. When they say strength in numbers, I’m very glad that I can find strength in the large number that is my family. Without the influence of every single one of my family members I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Without the constant love and support I have got from every single one of my family members, I wouldn’t be anywhere near as happy as I am today.
see ya Ash xxx