5 Ways to Improve Family Relationships

building family relationships my heart challenge

The eight families competing in the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute's My Heart Challenge: Family Edition are working to build better nutrition and exercise habits - but building strong family ties is also good for the heart. 

Talk together
There are few better ways to get to know the people closest to you than by speaking with them. Talk to your partner and children regularly about their dreams, hopes and aspirations. Ask them engaging questions about their lives and get to know what makes them tick. You may be surprised what you find.

Eat together
This goes hand in hand with talking together. Find a meal each day, or at least a few times a week, that everyone can get together for. Make something that everyone likes and facilitate discussions between family members. Have everyone turn off their electronics and really engage with one another. You don’t have to do much. Just start by being genuinely interested and go from there. 

Have one-on-one time with each family member
Talking with each other as a family is great, but don’t forget to spend time with each family member individually. Go for a walk or play a game. It’s as simple as asking what they would like to do for a half hour. Don’t worry about the amount of time spent together, but rather worry about the quality of time spent together. Perhaps they can even teach you something you didn’t know before. 

Have a family night each week
Eating together is a fantastic time for the whole family to enjoy time with one another. However, it’s also important to make time for the family to do something once a week together. In the digital age it’s easy to become distracted and distanced from your family. Take the time to go to a child’s soccer meet as a family or go get ice cream together. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. Just make it meaningful. 

Get some alone time
Sometimes being around your partner and kids all the time can be overwhelming. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself each week, especially during the summer when the kids are home. It doesn’t have to be long, just make sure you’re doing something that you enjoy and find satisfaction in. 

Research shows that families that spend time together stay together. Remember to take joy in the small every day happenings and find your happiness along the way.