By Guest Blogger Juan Santos M.S., CRC, LCMHC
Today, I want to share with you a few family activities that you can implement with your family. They help to foster deep emotional connection.
I think parents share the goal of wanting healthy, happy, and generally well-rounded good kids. As a counselor that works with families, I see this every day. A mom or dad will enter the office with their child. They share with me just how awesome their kid is and the desire to address certain challenges in life.
As a father myself, I’m on the same page. I wake up each day with the focus of trying my very best to raise good human beings. To teach and guide them as they venture towards adulthood.
What this simply means is that family activities provide your family system with a space to strengthen certain muscle groups. Not the muscles you may be thinking of. No big biceps here.
We are strengthening empathy, compassion, resilience, discipline, and so many other muscle groups that are vital in our journey of living our best life.
Create a space for feelings
As a family, create a tradition where once a week for 15 minutes the family comes together to share thoughts and feelings. In this activity, the family is together. It can take place in kitchen, outdoors, or anywhere that you are comfortable.
The goal is to bring the family together and foster a space where everyone can feel empowered to share their thoughts and feelings.
Each person will take a turn answering a question that fosters exploration of thoughts and feelings. Below are a few guiding prompts to get you started.
- What color helps you feel calm?
- What makes a day difficult for you?
- Share one trait that you think is cool from each member of the family.
- Share with one member
This activity can teach kids to:
- To build confidence in their ability to express themselves.
- Feel supported.
- Feel empowered to share vulnerable topics.
- of the family a time that they have helped you and why that was important to you?
Act out skits with the family
I want to tell you a story.
I remember growing up in my childhood home. My parents would bring us together to play all sorts of board games. We used to play this game where one person would act out and the others would take turns guessing. This particular day, I had to pretend that I was a pirate. My brothers were laughing so hard from seeing me hop on one leg and cover one of my eyes with my hand. It was my makeshift eye patch. The purpose of the game was simple. One person takes on a role while the others take turns guessing.
I want to share with you how you can use skits to build emotional intelligence and foster deep emotional connection in the family system.
- Start by having one person as the “actor”
- The “actor” role plays a situation in their life in which they experienced a difficult emotional challenge. Examples of life challenges include:
- If you had bad or worry related thoughts. Such as, “I’m never going to win, or no one likes me.”
- If you experienced a challenging situation. Such as, missing a homework assignment or arriving late.
- Everyone in the family watches the “actor” role play through the situation. The members watching take turns to provide supportive and constructive feedback to navigate the situation.
The goal is to invite vulnerable, trust, and constructive feedback.
As you read this post, I hope that you are able to walk away with a few family activities that can foster emotional connection in your family system.
The first step is showing up.
You got this.
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