When a family feels bonded, parents and children share life experiences on a different level. Difficult times are filled with moments of strength, connection and encouragement. Happy occasions become sweeter, brighter, and more joyous.

Here’s how to strengthen your family bond:

1. Loyalty

For families to thrive there needs to be a sense of security. We create a home that is a haven by allowing each child (and parent) to feel safe with one another. Together time should never evoke sentiments of fear or insecurity. No family member should feel the need to withdraw within a shell to feel protected.

2. Acceptance

We all need to feel that we belong. If a family member feels alone, there is the danger that he or she will look elsewhere for love. Acceptance means that I can lean on you when I fall and you will encourage me when I fail. If I make a mistake, I am not afraid to confide in you because you are approachable. You believe in me; flaws and all.

This does not just apply to children. Husbands and wives, too, need to feel accepted by their spouse.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t give consequences or ignore misbehavior. Rather, there is an underlying sentiment of being loved that allows the relationship to flourish despite the discipline. Acceptance means that we feel positively about our place in the family even if we have caused disappointment.

3. Appreciation

The foundation of every home must be gratitude. Appreciation is the oxygen of marriage. Children’s gratitude towards their parents, life opportunities, natural gifts and numerous physical blessings creates an environment of respect. We don’t take our family or things for granted. We speak thoughtfully. We take care of our possessions. We don’t allow our children to grow entitled. The entire atmosphere in the home is transformed.

Combined with the traits of loyalty, acceptance and appreciation is the ability of parents to create an environment of spirituality that anchors the home. Strong roots keep the family grounded.

As we approach the Hebrew month of Elul, we near the High Holidays. Contemplating our priorities, values, tone of communication and desire to connect with our traditions become a fundamental step to building families that endure.
Slovie Jungreis-Wolff