In this society, it's easy for kids to feel untethered, like they're floating alone on the winds of the world. Oh sure, everyone is hyper-connected to technology, but, the days of face to face connection, human touch, connection to nature...those are dwindling at a startling pace. It's vital to the mental, emotional, and physical health of the family, that we start to re-weave the fabric of the home base. Everyone, but especially children, need to know they have a soft place to land...a place where they are safe, the people are on their side, and where their needs and desires are a common priority for those who they share their home with.
I've so appreciated the campaigns for family dinners that have been hitting the airwaves in the past couple of years. There are so many reasons that dinner as a family, AT THE TABLE (not in front of the TV), is pivotal to unity.
*Breaking bread together is a Biblical and psychological bonding tool. It is a practice that promotes emotional intimacy & conversation...both vital in staying connected and involved in each other's lives.
*It is a scheduled opportunity for parents to observe their children. A daily face to face meeting is the easiest way to ensure that you see demeanor and nuance changes in your child, to share stories and make sure that you aren't missing something that could prompt needed change in your interactions with them, or even more, that there isn't something happening in their lives that you may need to pluck them out of!
*It's solidifies tradition and provides time for fun, laughter, and decompression. Everyone needs to be heard, have a laugh, or just to blow off steam. It's imperative to provide a safe place for those things to happen.
There are so many fun things that can promote family unity. Something I'm working on right now, is family bracelets. I found beads with our initial on them and a wonderful tree motif that so symbolized our family to me. I'll post a tutorial once I have them done:) One thing I've already done is the family creed. I just wrote it out on a piece of paper, and we posted it on the frig. I do want to do a more permanent project for it, but for right now, this is fine. Here's what it says:
U - unconditional love
T - tight-knit family
T - total commitment
E - every day priority
R - real; rooted in Christ
B - believers
A - authentic
C - crazy in love
K - kind to each other
This is what we stand for, as a family. These should be our priorities always! We are a tree - with our roots in Jesus Christ. May our fruits be a blessing to our world & a legacy for years to come. May we weather every storm, that we will be champions!
These fun little projects shouldn't take the place of practicing actual unity, but they can serve as little reminders that "we are all on the same team."
Other fun things: family hugs, family secret handshakes, family language, etc.