Part of our Counselor’s Corner series. Click to read other posts in the Counselor’s Corner.
June is National Family Month, which is a time to celebrate your family. National Family Month is typically celebrated from Mother’s Day in May until Father’s Day in June. The focus of National Family Month is to educate families about ways they can make themselves stronger, including building trust, showing commitment, communicating, growing through crisis, spending time together, having fun as a family, and showing love and affection. Here are some examples of ways to build stronger family units that are great for sharing with kids and sparking a family discussion.
Trust is built by making and keeping promises. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Be realistic about making promises. If you are unsure about whether or not you will be able to keep a promise, do not make it.
Showing commitment involves creating traditions and sharing values as a family. Traditions do not have to be big or expensive. Family traditions can involve watching fireworks on the 4th of July, taking a vacation (or staycation), or even eating dinner together as family. Making these into sacred times will make your family feel committed and bonded while sharing the value of honoring commitments.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of a strong family. Taking time to talk to each other and discuss each other’s feelings can help you feel more connected. Effective communication involves listening, understanding, and giving each other space to talk. Be open to communicating with your family about decisions big and small. Allow everyone’s voice to be heard in making decisions.
Growing Through Crisis
Every family will experience struggles and crisis in their lives. The way you deal with crisis will have a big impact on your family. Strong families are able to see the silver lining even in the worst situations. Crises can bring families closer together and make them reevaluate what is most important. Use your effective communication skills during crisis and seek outside help if you need it.
Spending Time Together & Having Fun as a Family
There are lots of inexpensive ways to spend time together, and summertime is a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors together. Schedule events and activities as a family such as camping trips, attending a baseball game, heading to an amusement park, a trip to the pool, or a picnic. Schedule smaller events throughout the summer such as cookouts, game nights, a trip to the ice cream parlor, bike rides, or a family walk or jog. You can also have sporadic fun as a family. If everyone is available, find something fun to do like watching a movie together on a rainy summer night or going to your favorite restaurant.
Showing Love and Affection
Many families feel love and affection but don’t always show it. Show this love and caring by telling each other how your feel about one another. Say “I love you, I care about you, I am glad I have you,” and other sentiments to let others know you care. Give hugs! Write cards or give small tokens of appreciation to each other.
National Family Month in June can reinvigorate your commitment to building a strong and happy family.
Are there other ways you bring your family together? How does your family create traditions and show its commitment?
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