5 Ways to Strengthen Family Connections


5 Ways to Strengthen Family Connections

We are all busy and distracted. It’s easy to let family relationships slide.

Here are 5 ways to strengthen family connections and improve relationships.

1. Have Fun: Spend time having a good time together. Generate a list of activities you enjoy as a family or new activities you’d like to try. These can be as simple as a bike ride or Monopoly game. The point is just to spend time having fun together.

2. Show Appreciation and Love: It’s not enough to feel positively toward your family. You need to express love and appreciation in words and actions. And if you’re not feeling positively about your family, challenge yourself to find one positive action or quality (no matter how small) that you appreciate and express that. Perhaps tomorrow, you can find two things.

3. Support Each other: Make a point to show up to each other’s activities. Cheer on their victories and console their losses.

4. Eat Together: Multiple studies have shown that adolescents are happier and better adjusted in families who regularly eat dinner together. Use this time to reconnect and talk about your day. And even if you’re serving take-out pizza, make a point to sit together and talk while you eat.

5. Listen to Each other: This means using effective listening skills. Make time to give your undivided attention (get away from your phone or TV!). Ask questions to clarify and show your interest. Be sure you understand before responding.

I hope you will make time on a regular basis to strengthen your family connections.


Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in Northern California, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in CA where she is available for online counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and write the blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today.