BONDING WITH YOUR FAMILY THIS FESTIVE SEASON
A few days before my son vacated from school, he asked his dad if he could make a special request and it was “can we please travel out this Christmas? It’s been long since we travelled as a family.” Hubby diplomatically responded, “We will talk about it when you come home.”
When I was informed about the request, my first response was “this boy doesn’t even know what is going on…travel ko, travel ni”. Considering his “it’s been long since we travelled” is just two years ago! Here we are battling to keep up with his and his older sibling’s school fees with the never decreasing dollar rate and he is talking about travelling out of the country.
While travelling out is great if you can afford to do it as a family (not the well-practised African style of Mother travelling alone with the children while father stays behind on the excuse of being too busy or not being able to get off work). While travelling out certainly provides the secluded time to build some of the best memories and quality time with your family, bonding doesn’t require a new location. It’s simply spending quality time together as a family and building memories that last a lifetime and can be passed on from one generation to generations unborn.
For Singles, this season is a great time to bond with your family and friends. With the hustle and bustle of life, and the constant pressure of work which requires meeting or exceeding targets, it’s so easy to lose touch with those who are important to us. This period is a good time to host and/or visit your loved ones.
In addition for those who have Children or nieces and nephews, this period creates a fantastic opportunity to teach them the true meaning of Christmas and imbibe the lessons of giving to our children including the how, when and who to give to leaning on the season of the birth of our Lord Jesus and how HE is a gift to the world. These are lessons that will last generations.
This Christmas/New Year:
1- Don’t be too busy for your family- Spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. The cycle of life will certainly take place: The aged will grow older and leave us while those with young children, your children will leave someday and pursue their life’s purpose or go start their own families. This is the time to bond with them before it’s too late. This is the time to instil in them character strengths that will aid their journey in life.
2- Say a kind word to someone who looks up to you, a word of encouragement. There are moments that we have to take hold of because that little person will soon grow up and leave your side. It need not be your biological children…A lot of people need just a word of encouragement to keep going on…..say something to someone this Christmas.
3- Give a warm hug to your spouse and/or children. This sends a message of love and affection. No words needed and it doesn’t cost a thing. Sometimes the warm embrace says it all.
4- Say “I love you” to your spouse (if married) and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. Act it too. Don’t say “I love you” and act differently.
5- As a Parent, reconnect with young children and pay more attention. There are too many children seeking love from outside because parents have either neglected or are too busy so they seek and receive love from the wrong places, find acceptance and affection which ultimately leads to drug use, prostitution or truancy.
6- Apologize if need be. To family or a friend and set things straight. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurts when it comes from deep inside of you.
7- Be content with whatever you have to eat and be thankful to God who has kept you alive and well enough to see another Christmas in the land of the living…So hold hands, spend time together and cherish the moment.
8- Create a special time for you and your spouse to love, to speak, and or share the precious thoughts in your mind.
8- Give gifts ….good quality gifts …God gave a unique gift ….give to friends; give to non-friends…in that way, you demonstrate the love of God.
9- Create Father -Son, Father-daughter, Mother-Son, Mother –Daughter, moments or outings that will encourage communication, encourage trust and transparency, build understanding and promote love in the home. You can set up the Christmas tree and decorations as a family. Wrapping of gifts, cooking etc.
10- Plan girls only outing or boys only outing with some of your best friends. It’s a good time to reminisce and thank God for keeping you all through the years. Counting your blessings and giving glory to God for seeing you through all the trials and challenges of life.
This festive season, start a family tradition that will be peculiar to yours. My own family tradition is that my husband gets to prepare the Christmas Turkey or Chicken depending on whichever poultry we decide to have. It’s the only day he cooks for the family and we look forward to it all year long. While I will not be quick to admit that its very stressful for me to have to be on standby to hand over different spices and answer many questions as he tries to find his way through an unfamiliar kitchen, I won’t have it any other way. Sometimes the Turkey comes out overcooked or too spicy but it doesn’t matter. And sometimes, it turns out fantastic. The interesting and equally exciting part is not knowing what you will get until you do get it. We still eat the food with love because it was prepared with love. Do something new. Old is boring and unexciting. Have a budget and be very careful on wastage and lavish spending. Refrain from visiting too many homes either alone or with your family and ensure you do tasks together as a family. This promotes bonding and will strengthen your family more than you can ever imagine. It’s time to pay attention to our homes.
We must not forget that EVERYTHING BEGINS & ENDS WITH THE FAMILY. Please bond with yours. So yes, you may not travel out this Christmas but make sure you have a fantastic one together as a family.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU & A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR AHEAD
Tinuola Monisola Agbabiaka
Certified Relationship Counsellor (CRR) & Professional Therapeutic Counsellor