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Strengthening Family Connections

in 2021

--Adam Maisen, LPC-S/TA

· Communication,Parenting,Family

I hope this post finds you well. We had a nice Christmas with my parents and brother, even with having to wear masks the whole time. Now we are getting ready for New Year’s at the Maisen house. 2020 brought a lot of challenges with it. However, one positive thing it did for us was to highlight our need for communication and togetherness.

I have never been one that did well with maintaining New Year’s Resolutions. If you are like me, life gets busy, and it is easy to fall back into the same routines. With that being said, I do want to share some recommendations for you and your family to focus on in 2021.

6 Family Tips for 2021

1. Create a family mission statement. Regardless of your family structure, having a mission statement predominantly posted in your home can help keep everyone on the same page.

Our Mission Statement: The Maisens are committed to treating each other with love, respect, and dignity. We seek to develop an enriched environment that supports a love for learning and creativity. Above all, we will seek to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with our actions, including leadership and service to others, financial giving, and active fellowship with other believers.

2. Spend 10 minutes a day talking with each other without phones or other devices. I dare you to put your phone in another room and just talk with your family. If you are looking for a conversation starter, each person can list 2-3 high and low points experienced that day. This is an opportunity for connection that can be harder than it sounds. 10 minutes is a suggested minimum, but even if it’s just 5 minutes, let’s make a commitment to communicate about our lives with no technological distractions.

3. Come up with at least one fun thing to do together each month. Go ahead and pull out your 2021 calendar right now. If you are not able to come up with specifics right now, that is okay. Put something vague on the books (e.g. Date Night, Family Game Night). If you don’t schedule it, it is less likely to happen.

4. Use the word “no” sparingly. As parents, we are often guilty of saying this word to our kids without having any reason other than the request being inconvenient in the moment. Sometimes “no” is the appropriate response, but let’s make sure that we have a good reason for it. If we can say “yes” more often, our lives and our kids’ lives may be a richer experience. I will admit that this one will be a challenge for me too.

5. Establish consistent family traditions. We don’t get to do it every night because of the busyness that life brings, but our evening routine begins with eating dinner together. After dinner, we work together to get the evening chores done. Then we enjoy reading a story and praying together before bed. When we miss this, we feel it. This is a great time to reconnect at the end of a busy day. Sunday evenings are typically our family movie night.

6. Review your mission statement at least once a month. This will help you to see how your behaviors are lining up with your established values. Recognizing that nobody is perfect, you can adjust as necessary.

I am convinced that two of the most challenging and most rewarding human experiences are parenting and maintaining a committed marriage. You can use these tips to help you stay more diligent and purposeful in your endeavors in the coming year.

If you are struggling in your connections with the people most important to you,

you are certainly not alone. Refuge Counseling of Arkansas is here to help.

Send us a message with your phone number and the best time to call,

and we will schedule a free 15-minute consult.

Strengthening Family Connections in 2021

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