We’d like to introduce you to our guest expert Greg Griffin of Life Transformed Christian Counseling. In this post, he will share with us valuable tips we can use to boost our friendships with our family.
We really only get to choose one family member, and that is our spouse. The other family members, well, we get what we get. Wouldn’t it be great if we could find ways to better enjoy our family members as friends? Yes, we may be connected biologically, but that does not ensure that we will get along. That part is up to us.
How do you spell love? How do you spell friendship? T-I-M-E. It’s always been that way, and it will always be that way going forward. Here are four time-centered tips to help you grow and maintain better family friendships. To make them easy to remember, let’s use “time” as an acrostic.
Technology is great until it isn’t. We have a growing body of social science research to show us that the more we spend time on personal devices, the less connected we feel. To help your family relationships, create a window of time when you are together where no PEDs are allowed. Turn them off and turn to your family.
If you do use technology together, be sure it is something that everyone can enjoy, like a favorite TV show or movie. It still would be better to go technology free for a period of time to force everyone to be more present to one another.
Someone asked Albert Einstein what was the world’s greatest invention, and he replied, “Compound interest.” As you likely know, the principle of compound interest is that smaller deposits end up creating a larger amount than the sum of the deposits. Compound interest not only works with money but also with relationships. When it comes to your family relationships, make it a point to invest daily deposits into your family “trust fund”. Compliments. Helping hands. Hugs. Short notes. They may not seem like much at the moment, but over time they will create quite a large nest egg to enjoy.
In our fast-paced world today, we have lost the art of sharing a meal, and the fellowship that is a natural extension of being together with food. Plan family times where everyone can gather over good food, without rushing out to another activity. Looking back, you may not remember the specifics of a given meal with family members, but you remember the good feeling of gathering together and sharing life and food. It’s a lost art, in my opinion, and well worth renewing.
Wonderful, memorable experiences are largely thought to be so because of the people with whom we shared the experience. Positive, shared experiences create the glue that bonds us together, Even when we are not in the same space and place. We can revisit our memories alone or in the company of those who were apart. It’s far too easy to think that we will get together later, only to find out that later never happened. Plan for family events or time with specific family members over a shared experience that is likely to produce wonderful memories as well as the joy of being together.
Most every family experiences have ups and downs, and yet most people will tell you they are grateful for their family. While no family is perfect, it is your family nonetheless. Plan to maximize it for the benefit of all involved. Creating a legacy for yourself and those family members who will follow and later generations has no price tag.
Go love your family with the investment of time.