Strengthening Family Intimacy
Have you ever wondered how to build intimacy in the family? Or asked yourself how to reconnect and restore relationship after an argument? How do families grow closer to one another? What can I do to increase the love and trust in my family? Good questions…I’m glad you asked. Family intimacy grows when individuals make daily deposits into the Family Bank of Honor. That’s right; with our actions and words, we make deposits (large and small) into the Family Bank of Honor. The more deposits we make, the deeper our intimacy becomes; and, the deeper our intimacy, the greater the returns on our investment. Realize though, that we also make withdrawals from the Family Bank of Honor. Sometimes we make those withdrawals unintentionally, sometimes as a result of anger, poor choices, mistakes, or misunderstandings. Either way, withdrawals happen. And, one withdrawal can wipe out several deposits. In fact, John Gottman notes that in a “good marriage,” spouses make five deposits for every one withdrawal. In “master marriages,” the spouses make twenty deposits for every one withdrawal. I believe the same is true for families. So, if you want to live in an intimacy-rich family, or have a family that has millions in terms of love, start making multiple daily deposits into the Family Bank of Honor. Here are several deposits you can make into the Family Bank of Honor today and every day.
· Say “Thank you,” “please,” and “you’re welcome.”
· Smile at one another.
· Hold the door open for one another.
· Fix a meal or snack for your family.
· Help wash and fold the clothes.
· Clean the kitchen…or simply clean your room.
· Help mow the lawn.
· Offer to get a drink or a snack for another family member.
· Watch what another family member wants to watch on TV.
· Pray for your family.
· Give compliments to one another.
· Give one another a hug.
· Seek the advice of a family member.
· Listen closely one another.
· Do what your family member asks you to do.
· Do favors for one another.
· Complete a chore for another family member.
· Play a game.
· Write a note of appreciation.
· Tell each family member something you admire about them.
· Practice daily acts of kindness.
· Bring home something special for one another–flowers, candy, gum, a card…whatever small gift a family member would enjoy.
What are some of your favorite ways to make deposits into your Family Bank of Honor?