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How to Create a Close Knit Family

How to Create a Close Knit Family

A close knit family consists of adults and children. Since children are innocent, it is up to the adults to help shape the four walls around them. They could help shape those walls into a home or a house.

A home is where there is love and understanding between the members of the family, while a house is just a place where members come in to sleep, eat, and then disperse.

Status Quo

Technology such as television, video games, and Internet is catching up in every household. Statistics show that an average child spends four to five hours in front of the television set while only five to 10 minutes with his parent.

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Divorces are also on the rise due to lack of time and communication. Every adult in a family needs to work towards creating a close knit kin. Such a scenario is not built-in one day. Each family ought to take baby steps to be close to each other and be there for each other through thick and thin. It is important to set some time aside for bonding, and sparing time to laugh and cry with each other.

Below are a few strategies that can help us in building a compact family.

1. Family Meal Time

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University shows that children who eat meals with their families are less likely to try marijuana or smoke cigarettes, and more likely to succeed as confident individuals.

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A family that eats together tends to bond well. Meal time is the time when family members sit together and chat and discuss their day. Relax and ask about each other’s day. Share laughter and complement each other on how they fared a situation in school or at work. This boosts the confidence of the child and helps them face the situation at a place rather than avoiding it.

Family meal time is not about elaborate meals. It is about spending time together and help reconnect lives by placing technology on hold. Switch off the TV, music, and phone. Making meal time a priority with the family will help lay a foundation for the children showing them ways to thrive and flourish in their community.

2. Guidelines for the Family

Each family should make their own guidelines such as designing your mission statement. This statement could state what the family stands for, such as love, loyalty, honesty, cleanliness, hard work, discipline and respect for elders.

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Each family has the flexibility to design their own mission statement and guidelines. However, upon designing the guidelines, adults have to contribute equally towards it. There are no exceptions!

3. Sharing Private Moments

Each family is entitled to have their share of private moments especially during the time of happiness and sorrow. Making sure the family is present during special events or occasions such as the time of birth of a child, marriage of a relative or a sibling, housewarmings, festivals and birthday celebrations.

This can accentuate life and help make memories while nourishing the emotional and spiritual being.

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4. Creating Family Traditions

Every family should have their own ritual to celebrate a festival or a birthday or an anniversary. Be unique by designing it together as a family and this will help make it a fun event for the children while helping to create everlasting memories.

5. Communication and Love

Communication helps families to open up with their emotions and that helps in giving up the grudges against each other. Result is love and understanding. Parents ought to be open to ideas since that expression will lead to boosting confidence and help in improving relationships.

Buying a house from your hard earned money is easy. The real challenge is to make it a home and help create memories. Patience is the key while practicing the above tactics to help create a close-knit family.

Good luck!

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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