What are some ideas of how we can be a
- Write short notes to each other (a simple hello,
praise for a job well done, good luck for an event).
Tuck the notes under the person's pillow or slip them
into a backpack, lunch bag, dresser, gym bag, or purse.
Write at least one note to each family member every
- Part of coping with change is learning to take on
new roles unexpectedly. Once a month, ask family members
to think of a chore or a job they usually do that they
would like to "give away" for a day. Trade tasks with
each other. For that day only, the person does that job.
The next day, talk about how it felt to switch roles and
how the family can prepare to fill in for each other in
- Choose a good time for a discussion: at the dinner
table, in the car, in the evening while relaxing.
Eliminate distractions and allow enough time for
everyone to talk and share their views. Use these fun
ideas to start a conversation:
- One really good thing that happened to me today is...
- My biggest goof last year was....
- Our family is really good at...
- My favorite meal is...
- One thing I like about each person in my family
- Plant vegetables or flowers with your children. Your
kids can learn about life from gardening, and you'll
spend time together.
- Strengthen ties you have with neighbors by finding ways to be helpful. For example, split wood, watch a pet, share a favorite dessert, shovel sidewalks, bring in the newspaper, or shop for someone who is ill.
From University of Missouri Extension's
Lucy Schrader, Building Strong Families
Coordinator, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2009