Rural Life Coordinator
Department of Social Concerns
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud
Spending time together is one of the greatest gifts families can give to one another. Having quality time together strengthens and build family bonds and it can give a sense of belonging and security for family members. During the pandemic, many families had a significant amount of time to grow and learn together. While it was not always easy to be around each other all the time, many families are now finding it difficult to transition back to life as it was before. As the vaccine rollout continues and we begin to regain a sense of normalcy, families may discover that those bonds that were created during the pandemic, soon begin to fade. Today’s families are busy. Many schedules are filled with work, school, after-school activities, volunteering, doctor’s appointments, and more. It can be challenging to find quality time to continue family bonding.
As a caretaker, you play an important role in creating and protecting these family bonds. In our often hectic lives, it can take a continued, deliberate effort to carve out time for your family. Look at everyone’s schedule to see if there are any periods of time that can be slated as family time. Try to select a regular night, perhaps once a week, when the entire family gets together for a fun activity. If you can’t find time in your busy schedules for family night, simply eat dinner together. Meal time is an excellent opportunity to share your day with your family, fostering an environment where open communication can take place.
The transition back into normalcy may cause elevated emotions amongst those closest to us. There may be feelings of uneasiness, confusion, or even frustration. Feeling supported and validated is essential in maintaining bonds. Take time out to see how everyone is responding to changes happening in their environment. We sometimes forget that when we are feeling overwhelmed and discontented, often other members of our family are feeling the same way. At the end of the day remembering to treat others with compassion, empathy, friendship, and respect helps foster healthy relationships. Kids and adults alike, thrive where they feel loved and understood.