Building Stronger Families: Family Ties & Memories

Charis Hills wants to be a resource to our campers and their families.  We know that  you are often challenged with not having enough hours in the day between school, therapies, educational activities, church and more!  We want to encourage you to focus on spending time together especially away from TV, electronics…etc.

Just like at camp, we each want to feel accepted and safe.  In families, adults and children can learn and grow together. Each member helps to provide a sense of belonging as well as emotional support, nurturing, protection, and security.

As families spend more time together, they form stronger bonds and traditions.  Developing family relationships isn't an easy task, especially when families are spread out. However, just living together under one roof doesn't guarantee smooth relationships. When individuals need to work together as a group, they are going to be differences of opinion, problems, and conflict. Each family member can help make a family stronger.

Strong families have a variety of characteristics. Family members spend time together, share responsibilities, and work together to resolve differences. They listen to each other with an open mind and allow each person to express opinions and share feelings. They share goals and values and also show appreciation for each other.

Forming Traditions

Spending time together whether doing special activities such as a family vacation or following everyday routines such as eating dinner together, is the foundation to building a strong family.  These activities or ways that families do things are what become family traditions. Families that form many traditions form strong ties with each other.

Traditions provide a sense of continuity, understanding, and appreciation that brings a family together. They are also opportunities for families to have fun times and establish good memories that will carry them through tough times. Traditions provide family with some time together to communicate, heal from a loss, adapt to new events, affirm family values, celebrate, and connect to the past. Traditions are the thread of life that create a sense of togetherness and appreciation in families. It is the "little things" done together that only create strong family ties, but also memories to

Just some Ideas!

Get a calendar.  Everything takes planning.  Be intentional! Set aside the time!

Strong families have a variety of characteristics. Family members spend time together, share responsibilities, and work together to resolve differences
— Rand Southard

Celebrate Milestones!  Big & Small

Celebrations can be a special dinner or favorite snack.  Eating out of a celebration plate,   going for a snow cone or  ice cream. Having special time with mom, dad or other family members. 

Birthdays, report cards, losing a tooth, learning to tie shoes or sinking a basketball are all things to celebrate.   Remember, it is not all about the kids.  Help them learn to celebrate other’s special days, activities, achievements:  Don’t encourage them to just think about themselves, but honor each member of your family. 

Plan Family Time:  family game night, family movie night, make popcorn and enjoy a show together.  Go on a picnic.  Even peanut butter tastes better if eaten outside!

Attend church together and share what you learned on the way home or during dinner. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.

Pray together.  Pray for each member of your family.  Make a prayer journal.  This might just be putting a picture of the family member in it.  This is a great way to develop or maintain a relationship with a relative who lives away from your family.  It is also a great way to look back and see how God answered prayers.

Plan Family Vacations.  

Have a Garage Sale and use the proceeds to do something the family decides on.

Attend Sporting or other events together as a family when possible. 

Get a digital camera if you don’t have one and TAKE PICTURES. and print some of them.  Put them in albums, make scrap books.  Put pics on the refrigerator and around the house.  Build your own family website or blog. Write letters, cards or send emails to family members. 

Make family movies.  This can really get involved-- or not so much-- depending on your family!

Each parent can spend some quality alone time with each child.  Ex:  Father/Daughter date night. 

Attend or help organize Family Reunions.  If your extended family doesn’t live near by, encourage others to send pictures via internet, get on Skype...etc.

It doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun.  Go on a camp out; even if it is in your backyard.  Institute a No Electronics time and devote your time TOGETHER  as a FAMILY.

Eat dinner together whenever possible.  Involve the kids in meal planning, preparation...etc. Not only will this help to strengthen your bonds, but it is a necessary life skill.

Establish Family Traditions.  Friday is pie day in our family.  This originated when my sister was dying from cancer, but is now one way our family celebrates her life and what she meant to us.

Family Traditions are especially important to kids at holidays.  We always went to see the big Christmas tree in downtown FW.  Amazingly, that is when Santa came by while we were out!   Attend or participate in parades.  Involve the kids in decorating for holidays. Cooking...etc.  It never has to be fancy to be FUN. 

Solicit other families or neighbors to do things with your families.  Volunteer at the local animal shelter, nursing home. 

Develop/learn new hobbies together.  Learn to do leather work, painting, gardening...etc.

Do yard work, house cleaning things that need to be done around the home together.  Things are always better together!  Change things up to make it fun.  Let the child who pairs up the socks while helping with laundry give out an award for the family member with the stinkiest socks!  Give Dad an award for fixing the______. 

Get a family pet.  Share the responsibility of care and training.

Read together! Read the Bible together.  Family devotions are wonderful.  There are many devo. books out there and there are lots of Family Devotionals on line.

Sing together!  You don’t have to have a a great opera voice to have fun singing. Sing along to a CD or radio!

Go bike riding together.  Go for walks.

Get the kids involved in “interviewing” older relatives.  Use cameras, video cameras, tape recorders...etc. 

Make a family newsletter.  While lots of families do this during Christmas, this is a great summer project and can involve the whole family. 

Of course, you can also come to Charis Hills Family camp!