If you are a young mom, you have the great opportunity to build a strong and united family, a place where your children know that they will always be loved and welcomed.
Being born into a family is a blessing, since having a father, a mother, siblings, cousins or grandparents, is something that unfortunately not all of us can have. However, regardless of the circumstances of our life, we have the opportunity to form a family with those around us. Although families come in different sizes and shapes, with many or few members, the most important thing about having one is knowing that you belong to a group of people who love and accept you just the way you are.
Your family is something like the team you belong to in a game show on television, where you are the one who must answer the last question that will win them a great treasure. Even though you don’t know the answer, they will continue to cheer you on and have a lot of fun playing as a team. I give this example, to point out the importance of our children having the certainty that they are part of a family that loves them, since children who know and feel this are more self-confident children, they have better school performance, they are healthier and happy. Would you like to develop this feeling in your little ones? Here are some ideas to get you there:
Praise your family name, your history, and your ancestors
Tell your children about their grandparents and other ancestors, the good things they did, and how their efforts have made it possible for them to have so many good things today. Create with them a family tree where they can see themselves as part of a big family. Tell them why you chose the name they carry and encourage taste and pride in the last names they have inherited. Always talk about your family as that great team that supports and strives for them.
Encourage them to participate in sports teams, art groups, and activities that involve collaboration
In childhood, teamwork is essential to develop values such as solidarity, personal sacrifice and collective effort to achieve a common good. When children are unique and do not have siblings or cousins, belonging to a group of equals helps them to locate themselves and understand that the world does not revolve around them alone.
Create meaningful family traditions
Celebrating birthdays, having a special song for the whole family to sing or inventing a secret word can be activities that strengthen family ties and the certainty of belonging to it. They could also choose a sign that means “I love you,” cook a dish that everyone likes together, or have annual gatherings that give meaning to the family. My father used to whistle at us in a very particular way, if we were in a public place, just by hearing that sound we knew it was daddy and we ran to meet him, since we knew that it was our place and we felt safe.
Design a family crest together
All super heroes have a shield, a secret place, some key ring or greeting, so this activity is loved by children and when they are older they will appreciate it even more. Together, design a flag, banner, or something that reminds you of your family. In my house, all women wear the same ring: copies of my grandmother’s original ring. Now, as my daughters approach 21, a new family ring is delivered to them. I get excited just to think that a granddaughter of mine gets a family ring too.
My eldest daughter lived for some years alone in a country very far from home and according to what she has told me, when she felt lonely or that things were not working as well as she expected, she consoled herself a lot by thinking about the things we used to do when she was at home. She saw her family ring and knew that somewhere, thousands of miles away, there was someone thinking of her and a place where she belonged forever: home. I invite you to read these articles. Surely they will interest you:
It favors the bond of your children with their grandparents (second part) Family roots. How to know them, how to unearth them?