3 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Family Bond

by | Aug 12, 2019 | Man

Raising kids is a constant negotiation. We want them to be independent, to build meaningful friendships and to become their own person. And yet, a healthy family bond is essential to the well-being and flourishing of our children from birth through adulthood.

Unfortunately, even the most well-meaning parents often sabotage these relationships by doing a few common, but unhelpful things. Here are three:

  1. Equating “busy” with “healthy.” We often buy the lie that what our kids need is to be kept busy so they don’t get in trouble, or so they can make friends or so they feel like their lives have meaning. The problem is this is a myth. In reality, the dramatic increase in children’s activity and the subsequent loss of free time has served to lessen creativity and increase anxiety and depression in kids.

More to the point of this article, it makes it virtually impossible for the typical parent to have more than a passing conversation with their child each day. And that “passing” conversation is typically punctuated with the instructions, “Take the earbuds out so you can hear me.”

If we’re going to build lasting family bonds, we must be willing to say no to the tyranny of busy-ness. You can’t create family bonds if you don’t carve out time. One of the rules my wife and I made early on with our kids was that they could not participate in more than one extracurricular activity per season. We’ve had countless fights about this, but in the end, we’re really grateful for that rule. It’s allowed us to get pretty consistent time to connect as a family each night, even though some nights, that may only be 15 minutes.

  1. Allowing technology to win. Speaking of “earbuds,” that’s a real problem in our house. Our kids love music and often listen to different types of music. This leads to four kids sitting in the same room with earbuds in while doing their homework. They might as well be in separate time zones. My wife recently came up with the rule that no one can have earbuds in while at home. Zero percent of the time. Needless to say, this was not greeted with fanfare. However, in the weeks since we’ve noticed a much different atmosphere. Conversation flows more freely. Siblings acknowledge one another—you know, like actual people.

Many of us feel helpless to take a stand against the onslaught of technology: smartphones, gaming, social media; there is so much vying for our kid’s attention that is way more interesting than we are. But if we want to build meaningful family bonds, we’ve got to have space to connect that is unimpeded by the escape of a screen. Set up rules about when screens get put away. Refuse to allow screens at the dinner table (you too, Dad). Set limits for usage (most smartphones have functions that allow you to limit screen time automatically). These rules will not be fun to implement (your kids will not cheer your efforts) but it will be worth it.

  1. Taking life too seriously. Sometimes it takes science a while to catch up to what we know intuitively. For example, did you realize that laughing with someone increases the likelihood that you’ll form meaningful bonds? Laughing releases endorphins, which promote social bonding. So laugh with your wife and kids. If your kids are young have tickle fights (17-year-olds tend to be weird about that). Tell jokes. Watch movies that make all of you laugh. Laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Listen to comedians or funny audiobooks while driving.

As much as possible, create an environment in which your family can have fun together. Obviously, life can’t be one big laugh-fest. But figuring out how to make it a regular part of your family’s life together will pay big dividends in creating lasting bonds.

Sound off: What have you done lately to create family bonds? {eoa}

Timothy Diehl is a husband, father, pastor, basketball fan, U2 junkie and theology nerd who loves helping people find meaning in life. He’s done stints as a high school teacher, campus minister and now serves as a pastor with a bunch of folks who are trying to pursue authentic faith and life together outside of Reading, Pennsylvania.

For the original article, visit allprodad.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

One thing is crystal clear in America: If we truly want change, we must re-spark biblical boldness and flame the fires of biblical action. If we won't fight, then spiritually speaking, we will fade away. I recently attended a large gathering of pastors in San Diego...

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him. All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and...

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

Two weeks ago, I shared several practical guidelines on how to leave a church gracefully. I wrote this because I hear so many stories about people storming out of churches because their feelings got hurt. But one astute reader didn’t appreciate my observations because...

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and...

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

You have an enemy. His goal is to keep you from entering a covenant relationship with God. However, once you do, his goal changes. He wants to make you doubt your identity, doubt God’s ability and keep you from walking in your purpose. He changes his accusations...

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

Just as the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons depicted a future full of video phones, robotics and Google-style office space, some modern-day prophets have prophesied about a future full of exposing corruption, fighting for individual freedom and shining a light on truth. One...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

Have you ever seen blueprints? If not, blueprints are detailed drawings, containing specifications approved by the builder of a home. A blueprint fully outlines the quality of the materials needed...
9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]