In the past, families lived close to one another so they were available when needed. These days, however, families are spread all across the country and sometimes around the world. Add into the mix how busy families are these days and you’ll understand why it is important to reconnect as a family whenever possible.

Many families lead busy lifestyles. The parents may each have a job which means they’re probably away from home eight or more hours a day. Each child may have extracurricular activities outside of school. When you think about it, many families may not be able to gather together to have meals together, much less find time to reconnect.

It is important to stay connected with your family, both immediate and extended. Even if everyone is running in different directions, having a stable family to rely upon will help your children thrive. They need to know you’re there for them regardless of whether you and your partner are married, separated, or divorced. Children need something that is a constant upon which to build their lives.

How can you reconnect as a family? There are many ways; here are a few you may want to try.

* As often as your busy schedule allows, plan to eat meals together. Eating together helps you reconnect, talk about your day, and let the children know their family is available for them.

* Maybe everyone is running at all hours of the day during the week. Make a point to have one day where you’re together as a family doing activities. This may include planning a family game night, movie night, or participating in some shared sports activity. The point is to plan to spend time together rather than everyone running in different directions.

* Enjoy your children while they are young. Listen to their hopes and dreams for the future. Pay attention to them when they ask for your help. Be fully present rather than half paying attention to them and half to the television program that’s on. Let them know how important they are to you and that you care about what concerns them.

* Take time to develop thankfulness within your family. There are so many things to be thankful for even if we’re having hard times. Tell your children often how thankful you are they’re part of your family.

* Be silly together. There’s nothing in any parenting manual which tells you that you must be serious all of the time. Find a funny movie the kids will enjoy and watch it with them. Make silly faces while doing chores together. Surprise them by doing something that is totally unexpected but that you know will get them laughing.

Life goes by so quickly. You think you have all the time in the world to let your family know how important they are to you, but life gets in the way. Before you know it your children are grown up and you can’t get those years back.

Your children need to know how much they mean to you. They need to know you’re behind them and you’re proud of them. What better way to let them know their importance than by reconnecting as a family regularly to keep your family strong?

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