Do you ever feel disconnected from your family?
I mean, at the end of the day, do you ever sit down, wonder where the day went, and think “Did I even speak to anyone in my house today?”
Some days are a complete blur. Some days fly by and I feel completely out of touch.
There are days when I feel like I have no idea what went on in the lives of the people closest to me.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t like that feeling.
Over time, though, I’ve realized there are many simple ways to connect with my family and engage in their lives.
Here are three of them:
1. Have dinner together.
I don’t just mean at the same time. I don’t mean make dinner, serve it, and everyone go their separate ways to eat…couch, bedroom, etc. I mean, sit around the table, look each other in the eyes, and eat dinner.
Pause. Take a deep breath, and enjoy each other’s company. Talk.
No TV. No phones. No distractions.
Nothing connects us like sitting around the table and eating together.
I mean, when you meet someone new and want to get to know them better, what do you do? You invite them to dinner! It’s a natural way to connect with others. The same is true when it comes to family.
In fact, dinnertime is my favorite family activity. We talk. We laugh. We engage.
Sure, sometimes it’s hard. There are practices, recitals, and PTA meetings. Family members get pulled in many different directions. But, if you want to hit the reset button and reconnect, start with a meal.
2. Ask your family members “How can I pray for you?”
Understanding what’s going on in each others’ lives is a definite way to connect with our families. In order to probe, though, we usually ask questions like:
“How was your day?”
“How’d it go today?”
“Anything exciting happen today?”
And what answers do we usually get in return?
But something changes when you ask the question “How can I pray for you?” Somehow, we feel more comfortable opening up.
Just the other day I asked my daughter something like “What’s going on in your world?”
“Nothing,” she answered.
So then I asked her “Is there anything I can pray about for you?”
Less than 30 seconds later I found out she was nervous about a spelling test the following day and her basketball game two days later. So we talked about those things.
I’m no different. If I see a friend at the grocery store and they ask “How’s it going?” My usual response is “Pretty good, you?” (Even when things aren’t “pretty good” at all.)
But if someone asks me if I have any prayer needs, somehow I always have something more personal to share.
Try it with your spouse or your kids. You may be surprised at the resulting conversation.
3. Tell a “back in the day” story.
There’s something inside all of us that makes us love stories, and it’s a great way to connect and share laughs. Usually, one story leads to another and another and another.
Whenever you hang out with old friends, what do you do? You tell stories! It’s how you reconnect. And something from an old story often triggers conversation about something that’s currently going on in your lives.
Kids love hearing stories about their parents, too. It helps them to learn more about who we are. Also, sometimes kids forget their parents were actual, real people before they were born.
You know, nothing provides the opportunity to connect and engage our loved ones like stories. They are also a great way to help teach our kids those valuable lessons we want them to learn.
So there they are – three easy ways to connect with your family.
Give them a try and let me know how it turns out.
It's your turn! How do you connect with your family? You can leave a comment by clicking here.