No matter what your family looks like, I bet we can all admit there is some form of dysfunction. Our families can sometimes drive us so crazy we wish we could disown them, but the reality is, they are family and we can’t choose them – so we might as well learn to get along.
The Global Citizenship Class from Globe University in Minneapolis, taught by Michelle Block, recently created a project that would give any family different ideas to bond together. The students came from different backgrounds and different family styles. They surveyed several local organizations that would give families a way to bond without breaking the bank.
After the class surveyed various family organizations, students put together a brochure that would be distributed to other students on campus and the local community.
As with any family, whether we are a family of one or 10, it is important to be deliberate in being sure there is a strong bond, which doesn’t mean perfection. There is no family without some sort of baggage or drama, but learning how to deal with this will keep you fulfilled (and sane).
Here are five simple ways to keep your family bonded:
- Have one meal a day together – I grew up in a family with the television always on during meal times because the sound of others eating drove us crazy (maybe you can relate). Try and use this time to talk with each other – find out what is going on in each others’ lives. Put the phones down, too – talk with each other!
- Have a Date Night – Take one night a week and have a date with your family! I am single but yet I have a “date night.” I am comfortable enough with my “family of one” and enjoy taking a Friday night to do what I want to do – family doesn’t always mean kids. Family has many different looks and it is important to nurture your family – take a date night and do something that refuels your relationships.
- Road Trip – Get in the car or hop on the train and go somewhere for the day! Go to the mall, go for a drive without a plan or go on a weekend getaway. Road trips can be so fun and bond a family.
- Volunteer – Use your next family vacation to serve people that are in need. There is power in serving. The more we can get the focus off of our own life and onto helping others, our own problems seem to vanish and bring us together. You will find that in giving up a family cruise and spending that time and money for the sake of others will be a family trip that you will never forget.
- Write Notes of Appreciation – Be deliberate in leaving a hand written note for your child or spouse letting them know you appreciate them. Send a random text during the day that lets someone in your family know you are thinking about them – showing love doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s the little things that make the difference.
The Global Citizenship class also focused on three organizations to help with family bonding:
- The Partnership – A counseling, education and advocacy organization located in Minneapolis. www.thefamilypartnerships.org
- YMCA – A great place for day camps. www.ymcatwincities.org
- Walk-In Counseling Center – Provides free, easy, accessible counseling to families to achieve a better family bond. www.walkin.org
Have a great time bonding with your family!
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