So, if you live in America, you still don’t know who will be our next president. What are you going to do about it? That’s right, nothing. Let’s talk about something we can do something about. 

In November we talk a lot about things we are grateful for and many of us talk about our families.

That doesn’t mean our families are perfect or that they aren’t stressful at times. I have some ideas on how we can make our family culture stronger so we can enjoy our time with our families. 

#1 Family Meals

You have all heard about this, but we find in studies that families are spending less time eating together. Families who eat together have healthier relationships, fewer discipline problems and a stronger family culture. 

If you sit together, share a meal, and what happened during your day, you will connect with those present. It is a time to discuss your different ideas and similarities. You can share experiences and make plans together. 

Set aside the time, put away the phones, turn off the TV, all the screens, and simplify the meal. 

You don’t need to spend all day cooking in the kitchen, it can be takeout, or leftovers.

It can be a simple casserole or toasted cheese sandwiches. Even better, you can cook together.

It is just important that you are spending time talking and connecting. 

#2 Conversations

Find ways to start conversations.

Communication is important for our family culture.

When was the last time you communicated your gratitude for each family member?

It doesn’t have to be a big, tear-filled, emotional moment. It can be as simple as looking directly in their eyes, or a squeeze on a shoulder and a “Hey, I’m glad you are here.” 

When you are talking to your family, avoid the yes and no answers or follow them up with another question. Ask questions like, “What was the best part of your day?” 

“If you had to rename everyone in the family, what would you name them?”

“What is a memory that makes you happy?”

“What songs make you feel like dancing?”

Have you ever tried, “Would you rather” questions?

Google it if you haven’t heard of these.

Ask your child would you rather read minds or be invisible? Then follow up with why.

These are really fun to get kids talking.

Try these out and check back next Tuesday for more ideas on improving your family culture.

Dr. Paul