by Alyssa Banks, who helps produce "The Matt Townsend Show"
1. Spend time together. From eating dinner to having late-night talks, family time makes a difference in the love and support each member feels at home.
2. Build each other up. My mom always says that in our house, people, including friends who visit, may brag as much as they want because we’re happy for them and are there to support their successes.
3. Avoid making negative comments. The world is full of enough people who make you feel badly about yourself. You and your family don’t need to contribute to this negativity.
4. Have family dinners. Dinner together can be the time a family unwinds but can also be the only time you have with one another. Make this count, and consistently have family dinners. If some members of the family are away, continue to make the dinner and sit around the table. This gives the family a sense of security and consistency. It’s also a great way to have casual conversation and discuss any issues members may need help dealing with.
5. Put technology away at the table. This prevents you from answering emails or texts at the table. It also sends your family the message that they have your undivided attention, and you are prioritizing them over your phone.
6. Limit screen time. This may be frustrating for some. However, as you limit your screen time, you’ll discover all the things you meant to do will actually get done. You may even find you have some extra time to relax.
7. Schedule specific activities to do together. My family goes on a walk every Sunday. We may bring a frisbee, visit the park or walk our dog, but we always take the walk. It’s consistent. Think of your family, and designate a day or time you can participate in something you all enjoy each week. This will give the family something to look forward to.
8. Spend time working or serving. It’s important for your family to develop skills and also feel like they’re important and contributing to the family. Clean up the kitchen, or work on the yard as a family.
9. Forgive your family members. Let the mistakes and offenses roll off your shoulders because the bottom line is you’re all family. Getting along is more rewarding than holding grudges.
10. Prioritize your family over your hobbies, work and other friends. You don’t need to choose your family every single time. However, make it known you want to be with your family by choosing them over other plans sometimes. After all, “friends come and go, but family is forever.”