As a parent, you might wonder what is enough for your family to be happy. What do you need to provide for them? What defines happiness for you and your loved ones? Are you teaching your kids to live a life of purpose and value?
You could possibly feel a lot of pressure to keep up with other families. Social media opened the door for unrealistic comparisons to others. You might see other parents taking their kids on vacation, to summer camps, and doing all sorts of things together.
Yet, you might know the stories behind the pictures. Every family will have struggles to maintain relationships and closeness with one another. Whether you can take your kids on a big trip every year or are living nearly paycheck to paycheck, you might be overthinking what your family truly needs from you.
Keeping It Simple
Family relationships are strong for several reasons. Nearly all other relationships in life can disappear—sometimes without warning. Your friends might move away and you fall out of touch with them. You realize that this relationship worked for a time but has no more place in your life.
With family, the bonds are much different. Even if you rarely speak to some family members or cut them out because of an unhealthy relationship, you still have a bond there. The relationship might be strained, changed, or broken. However, somewhere in the back of your mind, they are always there.
Whether you feel close or emotionally distant, your family is your family. As a parent, you foster relationships with your kids to keep the relationships strong and healthy. Since family is forever, you can just keep it simple and focus on the basics: spend time together.
Spending Time Together
With your family, spending time together doesn’t need to be complex. When you live with your kids and partner, spending time together just happens naturally. You pick up your kids from school, eat meals with them, take them to appointments, and do other mundane activities together.
Sometimes, these moments are the most important, yet many people don’t see it that way. Instead, we look at big events as the most important. But, for your family, sometimes, the ride home from a baseball game or band concert means more to them than the game or performance.
Being present and mindful of these little moments can be enough for your family. Having dinner together, being the first person they see after a bad day at school, the one who talks to them after a psychiatric appointment — these moments matter!
Being Supportive and Encouraging
How can you make the most out of these little moments? You make them count. Ask your kids questions and get to know them. You need to do these tasks anyway, and you can make these moments quality moments for your kids.
When you pick up your kid from school, ask them about their day. But truly ask, listen, and be attentive. That car ride home after a bad day can mean a lot to kids. They could have been rejected for a date or were bullied during the day. Kids might not know how to talk about these things and look to us to draw these conversations out.
Kids might also have good news to share. Maybe they got an “A” on a big test or will be the lead in a school play. Kids possibly are brimming with excitement, yet too shy to tell us what is going on. But, when you don’t ask, that could make kids feel discouraged. They might have been excited to tell you some good things and didn’t find the opportunity to share.
Being present, engaged, and interested is one of the best ways to show your kids support and encouragement.
Unconditional Love and Acceptance
Unconditional love and acceptance are essential for kids. Kids need to know that they are loved and accepted no matter what. They might have problems at school, with friends, or other places, so they need to know that their family will accept them.
The foundation of strong families is finding value in each member. If you give your kids unconditional love and acceptance, you offer something that they cannot expect from anyone else.
The root of what is enough for your family is love. Whether you show your family love during mundane tasks or by taking them on a big vacation, no one else in the world is expected to show your kids unconditional love.
If you show your kids love and acceptance in some small way, each and every day, that will be enough for your family.
Just being together, showing kids encouragement and support, and giving them unconditional love and acceptance are enough for your family. When you are truly present and engaged in even the smallest of moments, you can foster a strong bond with your family that can last a lifetime. Family is the only relationship that many people maintain throughout their lifetimes or continue to feel connected to in some way. Other relationships and friendships may come and go, but family is forever. Parents of kids who struggle might feel like their kids are gone. They have significant issues with drugs, drinking, or other behaviors that cause a rift in the relationship. Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center of Estes Park, Colorado, is here to help you get your kid back. We work with parents and kids to build strong families to recover from addiction, problematic behaviors, and mental health challenges. Call us today at (303) 443-3343.