We all like belonging, feeling safe and confident when we’re with people who love and accept us.
Being part of a family should offer that to our children. Here are nine ideas to help us grow that spirit of community in our families.
1. Pray together. Bringing family members’ needs to the throne of God unites our hearts.
2. Support each other’s endeavors. We all, as a family, go to the girls’ piano recitals, soccer games, or school concerts. My parents were wonderful examples of this when I was growing up.
3. Volunteer as a family. Whether at church or in the community, take advantage of every opportunity to serve others.
4. Read an exciting book aloud as a family. It’s fun to experience the story together and discuss what might happen next.
5. Set family goals and work toward them together. These could involve labor, like cleaning out the garage, or a fun project, like putting together a large puzzle.
6. Have friendly competitions and include a prize for the winner. For example, each March we all fill out NCAA basketball tournament brackets; the person who gets the most points chooses a restaurant for our next night out. (This year, our oldest daughter won and chose Olive Garden.)
7. Take trips together. While an actual vacation is nice, this could also just be a visit to the local zoo.
8. Respect each other by listening – and not interrupting – when someone else is talking.
9. Cultivate family traditions. If you’ve read here long, you know this is one of my favorite ideas! Even at 13 and 11, my girls still got chocolate bunnies in their Easter baskets yesterday – and I suppose they still will at 20!
What are other ways we can build a spirit of community within our families?