21 Suggestions for Strong Families
As long as you never give up and always keep trying, you can help your own family to gradually become stronger, happier, and more loving.
My husband and I gradually implemented these suggestions as we learned them over the years. They have greatly improved our family relationships—we just wish we had implemented all these ideas sooner! These twenty-one suggestions have helped strengthen our family. I hope they will give you some new ideas on how you can improve the relationships within your family. As long as you never give up and always keep trying, you can help your own family to gradually become stronger, happier, and more loving.
1. If you are married, develop a strong, united relationship with your spouse.
The success of any organization starts at the top. A loving, happy marriage helps your children to feel great security.
2. Bond early with your children.
Children won’t remember the countless hours you spent caring for them when they were young. But, they will be drawn back to you because of the time you devoted.
3. Live within your income.
Good money management is a skill that the whole family can gain. Become resourceful and creative in how your family earns, saves, and spends money as you learn self-reliance.
4. Take a time out.
Family members each need to have their own place to go when they are angry or upset and need time to cool off. Angry outbursts ruin relationships and require repentance and repair.
5. Eat meals together at home.
The dinner table is the perfect setting to talk about everyone’s day, teach about good nutrition, and practice using proper table manners. Prepare and clean up meals as a family.
6. Plan one-on-one time.
Give each child some special time to be alone with you so you can talk to each other without being interrupted by others. Your relationships will grow and deepen over the years.
7. Treat friends like family.
Your family will be stronger if you are inclusive, not exclusive, of other people. A variety of family friends can be a source of enjoyment, wisdom, and support in times of need.
8. Do little acts of service.
The Boy Scout motto, “Do a good turn daily,” can be a way of life for your family. As you give of your time and talents, you will find that your family is blessed with joy.
9. Attend church together and read the scriptures as a family.
As you study the scriptures in your home, you reinforce spiritual truths learned at church. Your children will feel your commitment to God.
10. Have family prayer.
As you humbly thank the Lord for your daily blessings and ask for His guidance and protection, you will feel His love in your home. Spiritual healing will bless your lives.
11. Establish family traditions.
Start when your children are young to do activities everyone enjoys and looks forward to each year. By enjoying holidays, birthdays, and vacations, family ties are enriched.
12. Hold family councils and post a monthly family calendar.
Let children speak and express their opinions about family matters. Write down all upcoming activities and attend as a family when possible.
13. Find some comfortable family routines.
Family life will go more smoothly if there is some structure and a predictable routine. Even if you’re not a consistent person, make an effort to do the basics.
14. Keep family rules simple.
It is easier to teach and enforce a few rules. Our rules fall into three categories: respect, obedience, and trust (or R-O-T as our children call them!), but, they know what we expect!
15. Learn to discipline effectively.
Through prayer, this inspiration came into my mind: “Discipline should be quick, consistent, and fair.” Read books to learn how to discipline effectively.
16. Discuss disagreements during the day.
It is better if everyone can go to bed happy at night and leave home happy in the morning. Timing is important. Make appointments to talk when necessary.
17. Teach with writing assignments.
When there are problems with discipline, have children write about the changes they need to make in a notebook. This notebook becomes a record of the real issues.
18. Work together.
Doing housework and yard work with children may be a chore, but it is a good way to connect with them. It also contributes to their feelings of accomplishment and high self-esteem.
19. Play together.
Playing together encourages laughter, happiness, and bonding within the family. Block out at least one special time a week on your calendar when you can all do something fun together.
20. Deepen your children’s roots.
Attend family reunions and get to know extended relatives. You never know which aunt, uncle, distant cousin, or grandparent might have a lasting influence on your child.
21. Create a "gathering place" for your family to be close together.
Make a designated area in your home for talking as a family and studying the gospel together. Combine couches, chairs, bean bags, or pillows where everyone can sit (or lie down) and feel comfortable and relaxed.