Steps for Encouraging Family Unity - Parenting & Kids
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With so many priorities pulling at each of us, it may seem difficult for a family to feel like a cohesive group. If you want to feel like your family has a little more of an "all for one and one for all" attitude, then you are looking for more family unity. Family unity often starts with mom and dad making an effort to create it. There are several things you can do as parents to help create more unity in your family. Here are a few simple steps:

Step One: Put Your Family First

Make sure your family knows, not just by your words but by your actions, that your family is your first priority. Avoid putting other things ahead of family time and family responsibilities. Be committed and loyal to each family member. Make sacrifices of other things when necessary to make sure your family is taken care of. 

Step Two: Dine Together as a Family

Family dinners play an incredibly important role when it comes to fostering family unity. In the past, families dined together each and every night. In addition to nourishing the body of the family through a well balanced meal, dining together as a family also nourishes the spirit of the family. Through family dinners, everyone in the family will have an opportunity to discuss things important to them, regale tales of their day, or just enjoy each other’s company. Even if you are not able to sit down as a family at every meal, make the effort to do so at least several times a week. Keep in mind that family mealtimes do not need to involve elaborately prepared meals, just some type of food and the attention of everyone in the family. While you're sitting down together, take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with each other and really listen to each family member. 

Step Three: Establish Family Night

One great way to encourage family unity is to establish a family night. This night should take place at least once a week and should be mandatory for all members of the family. Due to the schedule of each individual in the family, your family night may take place on different nights each week, but it should still take place whenever possible. A family night should involve a specific activity that will allow enjoyment and conversation to happen. Try to avoid incredibly competitive activities that may work to discourage family unity instead of encourage it. However, possible options for family night can include board games or nature walks. Try to avoid passive activities like watching a movie or a television show, as these activities generally do not encourage conversation.

Step Four: Family Support

Every member of the family is important, so the activities of the family members should be treated as something important. For example, if a child is a part of a sports team, bring the whole family to root him or her on to victory. Similarly, if a child enjoys an artistic activity, show that you support him or her by attending recitals, art shows, or concerts. In addition to these productions, showing support during practices is incredibly important. Encourage everyone in the family to show support and the family will continue to bond and work as one.

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