Maintaining Family Connections
Recent events have created a period of uncertainty and family connections have become more important than ever. Being separated from the ones you love can cause loneliness, especially for those who are older and infirm. How can you make sure that you find time for those you love so they don’t feel neglected?
It may seem like a simple thing, but inviting relatives over for a meal is a great way to include them and have a catch-up. If you cook for your family each day it isn’t too much effort to make extra. Elderly parents will love being included and it allows you to see how they’re doing and offer any help that is needed. Older parents are often reluctant to ask for assistance so a little prompting over dinner may help them open up.
When people get older they sometimes feel a little redundant, so asking for help in the kitchen may help them feel useful and provide another opportunity for talking. If you discover your family member is struggling with health problems due to advancing age what can you do?
Start by really listening to the issues they are facing. Ask them what would you could do to make life easier. Offer your help if it’s possible. If they need more assistance than you can give, you could consult a senior directory that provides information on senior care available in your area. They may need help with housework, gardening or home maintenance or have medical needs. Getting them the right help will show you love them and help them feel valued as a member of the family.
What about the younger ones in your family? It’s easy to lose connections with children as they grow up. If you have a teenager in the house you understand well that communication reduces and they’d rather spend time talking to friends than parents. How can you address this?
It’s important to schedule time with your teenager so they have time away from their devices and quality time with you. This may be around mealtimes. Make sure there aren’t any distractions at the table and when they talk actively listen. Take an interest in their lives, even if the things they enjoy differ from your tastes. If discussions escalate into an argument don’t shut it down. Teenagers don’t aways communicate well, so value the fact that they are communicating even if it’s a heated debate. Try to keep control and hear what they’re telling you.
Even as children grow up they still need boundaries and structure. Kids that are left to their own devices will think you don’t care and may make bad decisions when influenced by their peers. Setting rules and guidelines will allow them gradual freedom and show that you love them enough to provide a safe place for them to thrive.
Technology has proven to be an essential asset during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the restrictions on physical interactions, people have been reliant on technology for communication. As busy as life is, always make sure you maintain family relationships by picking up the phone or sending a text. Although it shouldn’t be a permanent substitute, family members will enjoy hearing your voice or reading about your day. You can utilize technology in an appropriate way to remind family of your love and let them know you’re in their thoughts.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with work and responsibilities but time with family should be made a priority to maintain familial relationships.