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Developing family bonds

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st July 2009 03:00 AM

WHY do some families relate more closely than others? Why do some siblings remain in close bond 20 years after leaving home? The answer lies in the parents’ ability to create lasting bonds. A family operates like a unit with shared values.

WHY do some families relate more closely than others? Why do some siblings remain in close bond 20 years after leaving home? The answer lies in the parents’ ability to create lasting bonds. A family operates like a unit with shared values.

PARENTING - Jamesa Wagwau

WHY do some families relate more closely than others? Why do some siblings remain in close bond 20 years after leaving home? The answer lies in the parents’ ability to create lasting bonds. A family operates like a unit with shared values.

The bond between members stretches beyond mere blood relationship and must be nurtured.
Lasting family bonds are more emotional than physical. Holding family meetings can create a wealth of sweet memories that will remain with your children for life.

The third US president, Thomas Jefferson, said: “The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.”

Family meetings should not be conducted in a tense boardroom -like atmosphere.

It should be a time to unwind in a relaxed atmosphere.

You can hold it every evening after dinner, every Friday to recap the week and discuss weekend plans or any other appropriate day. Whichever day or time chosen, it has to be maintained and held regularly.

An agenda is good but not necessary. Praying, encouraging each other, sharing an exciting experience or re-affirming your love must be part of the meetings.

Helpful tips on conducting family meetings

  • Everyone should get a turn to speak and no member should dominate

  • Members must respect each other’s opinions lComments must be polite and supportive

  • Nobody should watch TV or engage in any other distractive activity

  • Sitting in a circle and holding hands, especially during prayers is a good way of expressing a sense of ‘oneness’. A family provides a supportive context in which children learn to live.

  • A family meeting is a unique ‘communication school’ where your child will gain social etiquette and polish their communication skills.

    When they speak their minds and people listen, their self-esteem improves and they grow into self-confident adults. When they are not interrupted, they believe in themselves and do not feel shy in a crowd.

    American family counselor, Virginia Satir says, “Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes tolerated, communication is open and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”

    Have you heard of families that come together once every year to rekindle sweet memories?

    Isn’t it refreshing to watch your children after 20 years share jokes or discuss their favorite bedtime stories you read to them?

    It may seem insignificant now but time invested in family meetings will yield lasting treasure in decades to come.

    jwagwau@newvision.co.ug

    Developing family bonds

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