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Building a Strong Family Foundation: Tips and Strategies for Nurturing Our Human Connections

Human beings are literally wired for connection and relationships. Our brains are designed to seek out and form bonds with others, and these connections are essential for our well-being and happiness (Siegel, 1999, p. 85). Fascinatingly, neurological studies show, ‘‘The brain is an organ of adaptation that builds its structures through interactions with others. . . . There are no single brains" Cozolino (2006). Yet in today's fast-paced world, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of nurturing our human connections, particularly within our own families.


That's why this month, we're focusing on building a strong family foundation. By prioritizing our relationships with our loved ones and making an effort to connect with each other on a deeper level, we can begin creating a supportive and nurturing environment for all members of our family. Laying the foundations of a healthy family that could even have a profound impact future generations of your family. But how do I start?!



Starting can be simple:

  1. Set aside dedicated time for family bonding. This can be as simple as having a weekly family dinner or game night, or even taking a day trip together. The key is to make sure that this time is free from distractions and is focused on connecting with each other.

  2. Practice active listening. When we're with our loved ones, it's easy to get caught up in our own thoughts and concerns. By actively listening to what others have to say and showing genuine interest in their experiences and feelings, we can strengthen our human connections and build trust and understanding within our family.

  3. Show empathy and compassion. In any relationship, it's important to be able to put ourselves in the other person's shoes and understand their perspective. By showing empathy and compassion towards our family members, we create a supportive and caring environment that allows everyone to feel heard and valued.

  4. Be present and attentive. In today's world, it's easy to get distracted by our phones, TVs, and other screens. But when we're with our loved ones, it's important to be present and attentive. Put away the distractions, silence notifications on your phone, and make an effort to be fully present in the moment with your family.

If you're ready to build on the above family foundations and take them to the next level, we have even added some bonus strategies and opportunities for building a strong family foundation:




  1. Encourage open and honest communication. By fostering an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings, you can create a space where everyone's voices are heard and respected.

  2. Practice forgiveness. Mistakes and misunderstandings are inevitable in any relationship, but it's important to practice forgiveness and move forward together. By showing compassion and understanding towards one another, you can strengthen your family bonds and create a more supportive and nurturing environment.

  3. Be proactive in seeking out new experiences and activities. By trying new things together as a family, you can create new shared memories and experiences, which can help to strengthen your bonds and deepen your connections with one another.


What we can envision, we can often bring into reality. So here are a few examples of how these strategies can be put into practice by looking at other families:




  • Take the Johnson family for example, they have a weekly family game night, where they turn off their phones and other distractions and spend quality time together playing board games and talking.


  • Perhaps let's look at the Perez family! They have a monthly family meeting (you could do FaceTime or in person), where they discuss any concerns or issues and make decisions together as a family on the same team.


  • Or Nguyen family likes to pickup and take regular weekend trips to new and interesting places, where they can explore and learn together as a family.


By incorporating these tips and strategies into your daily life, you can lay the foundation for a strong and supportive family for you, your kids, and even generations not yet existing. Nurturing our human connections is essential for our well-being and happiness, and by prioritizing our relationships with our loved ones, we can create a loving and nurturing environment for all members of our family.



BONUS: We've created a quiz to help you, a sort of self-assessment for your current level of family bonding and connection. Simply answer the questions below and see what areas you could focus on to improve your family relationships and create a stronger foundation for your family. By simple measuring systems we can gain clarity and find traction for growth:

  • How often do you set aside dedicated time for family bonding?

a) Every day

b) Several times a week

c) Once a week

d) Rarely

  • When you're with your family, how often do you put away your phone and other distractions?

a) Always

b) Most of the time

c) Occasionally

d) Rarely

  • How often do you practice active listening when talking to your family members?

a) Always

b) Most of the time

c) Occasionally

d) Rarely

  • How often do you show empathy and compassion towards your family members?

a) Always

b) Most of the time

c) Occasionally

d) Rarely

  • How often do you seek out new experiences and activities to do as a family?

a) Always

b) Most of the time

c) Occasionally

d) Rarely


Based on your answers, here's what you can do to improve your family connections and create a stronger foundation:

  • If you answered mostly "a"s, you're doing a great job at nurturing your family connections! Keep up the good work and continue to prioritize your family relationships.

  • If you answered mostly "b"s, you're doing well but there's room for improvement. Consider setting aside more dedicated time for family bonding and practicing active listening and empathy more frequently.

  • If you answered mostly "c"s or "d"s, it's time to make some changes. Start by setting aside dedicated time for family bonding and make an effort to put away distractions and practice active listening and empathy when you're with your loved ones. Also, try to seek out new experiences and activities to do together as a family.

By following these tips and strategies, you can lay the foundation for a strong and supportive family. Nurturing our human connections is essential for our well-being and happiness, and by prioritizing your relationships with our loved ones, you can create a loving and nurturing environment for all members of your family.



We hope this brings clarity to the conversation of family foundations and is helpful in your journey! Wherever you may be in life, we want to encourage you to dare to live boldly and do life with an empowering community!


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Sources:

*Cozolino, Louis. The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain. Norton, 2006.

*Goleman, Daniel. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.

*Bantam, 2006. Siegel, Daniel J. The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well- Being. Norton, 2007. *Siegel, Daniel J., & Hartzell, Mary. Parenting from the Inside Out. Penguin. 2003.


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