Strong family relationships don’t just happen; they are developed. Here are some ideas for your holiday family gatherings to develop strong families.

Spend time together. Strong families try to spend time together. Family time helps one not to feel lonely and helps create a feeling of well-being. 

Show Affection and Appreciation. Showing respect and affection for the uniqueness of each family member is important. Saying “thank you” and “please” reinforces relationships.

Open Communication and Good Listening. Families who share beliefs and feelings and listen to one another feel more connected. Communication is one of the key elements of family relationships, whether it is talking about little things or big issues.

Spiritual Wellness. Strong families believe in a greater power. Shared beliefs, values and traditions help create a bond between family members.

An ability to cope. Strong families pull together and draw strength from each other when problems arise.

A strong commitment to each other. Strong families make their relationships a high priority. They work together to solve their problems.

During holiday gatherings, consider playing board games. Board games provide face-to-face interaction, helping families get connected and creating lasting memories. Here are some simple tips:

• Avoid choosing a board game that is too hard for your kids’ ages or one that everybody hates playing. Start by playing one that your youngest child definitely can play. After that, let your youngest team up with someone for a bit more challenging game.

• Only family members and friends are invited. Make it a rule that technology be set aside until your game time is over.

• Choose snacks that are not sticky or greasy to preserve your games.

• Keep a stash of great board games around the house. You’ll be sure to find a taker when you ask, “Does anyone want to play a game?”

If you don’t have board or card games at your home, check with your local library to inquire if they have games available for check-out. Other sources are garage sales and discount stores. You could also check with your neighbor(s) if they have any games and invite them to play.


K-State Research and Extension events 

• Dec. 24-Jan. 1 — Cowley County Extension Office closed

• Jan. 3 — Sitter Solutions, the beginning babysitting class for ages 11-15, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $10, Winfield. Call (620) 221-5450 to register.

• Jan. 15, 22, 29 & Feb. 5 — Farm Financial Skills for Kansas Women in Agriculture, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., $40. Register at by Dec. 31, 2019.


Becky Reid is the family and consumer sciences agent for K-State Research and Extension, Cowley County. She can be reached at 221-5450 or (620) 441-4565.

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