Family Bonds (Series)

The 10 Key Behaviors That Will Ensure Strong Family Bonds Over the Holidays Part Four

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we examined the key behaviors of being affectionate, thoughtful and quick to apologize. This week we look at the last two key behaviors, being quick to forgive and being willing to compromise.

 

Behavior Nine – Be Quick to Forgive

 

If a family member tries to make amends following a conflict, appreciate their sentiment and be quick to forgive. It certainly isn’t easy to accept responsibility for poor behavior, so your willingness to forgive will develop confidence that the relationship is strong enough to bear conflict and build trust that hurt can be healed. If you have difficulty forgiving please read ‘How to liberate yourself by overcoming the three blocks to forgiveness’.

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The 10 Key Behaviors That Will Ensure Strong Family Bonds Over the Holidays Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored how empathy, giving your undivided attention and spending quality time together improve family bonds. This week we examine the key behaviors of being affectionate, thoughtful and quick to apologize.

 

Behavior Six – Be Affectionate

 

Express to your family how much they mean to you. Vocalize your affection for them. Hug them often. Show them you care in any way you can, as often as possible.

 

Behavior Seven – Be thoughtful

 

Being thoughtful will display that you want to make your family members lives the best they can be. If they are down buy them a coffee at a cafe, do the dishes if they are tired, remember the book they were excited about and buy it for them.

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The 10 Key Behaviors That Will Ensure Strong Family Bonds Over the Holidays Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we examined the importance of body language and being yourself around your family. This week we explore how empathy, giving your undivided attention and spending quality time together improve family bonds.

 

Behavior Three – Empathize and Seek to Understand

 

With different generations and family roles there are different perspectives. Try to imagine what you might think and how you might feel about a situation if you were older or a mother.  Ask questions to better understand other family members like ‘why do you think that?’ or ‘how did that make you feel?’ Once you understand their perspective show them you empathize by saying ‘that must have been really frustrating’ or ‘I imagine that was quite hurtful’. This will show your family you hear what they are saying, understand them and appreciate where they are coming from.

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The 10 Key Behaviors That Will Ensure Strong Family Bonds Over the Holidays Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Like most families, my family has had its ups and downs. During my teenage years my household had its turbulent moments. There were times when we spoke in anger and communicated poorly. There were times when we felt unheard and misunderstood.

 

As I’ve matured and reflected on the part that I had to play, I realize that my approach to my family has changed over the years. I’ve learnt assertiveness and developed the capacity to both say sorry and forgive quickly. I have tried to empathize and understand my parents as best I can. I’ve made a point of spending quality time with them and have expressed my love more.

 

But even the strongest of families can have difficulty over the holidays, when stress is high and tensions fraught. Visits from extended family and the desire to host ‘the perfect Christmas’ all serve to add pressure to an already stressful time of year.

 

I realize now that there were ten key behaviors I fostered to deepen my family bonds. Use these behaviors to ensure your family bonds remain strong over this holiday season, allowing you to navigate the holidays with grace and ease.

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