key behaviors

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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Why Building Strong Friendships is Important for Our Health Part Two

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the benefits of having strong, long lasting friendships. This week we discover the first three key behaviors that develop strong and deep rooted friendships.

 

1. Regular contact

 

Although I have an extremely busy schedule I make time to contact my friends regularly. I often text them to let them know I am thinking of them. I communicate with them on social media. I call them if circumstances dictate that I won’t see them for a while. When I do see them I make sure the time we spend together is quality time, connecting with them on a deeper level by listening intently and sharing openly.

 

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Why Building Strong Friendships is Important for Our Health Part One

Frienships shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

I didn’t have many real friends when I was four. Most of the kids I met in play group were mean towards me and quite spiteful. I remember praying and pleading with my parents to give me a little brother or sister, a play mate who loved and accepted me. I now realise that my idea of siblings was quite romantic when I was young, after all, not all brothers and sisters get along.

 

I’m now happy to be an only child and in all honesty, I think I would have been quite jealous if my parents attention had been divided when I was so young. Perhaps because I am an only child, I have come to view my friends as my extended family (I call one of my best friends my surrogate sister).

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