Play Produces Affirmation and Support
We know instinctively that play produces family togetherness and support. We know that when we play together, we have a deeper sense of belonging and community in the family. Parents must proactively work at making a sense of belonging and community one of their key goals for family togetherness.
The goal of family togetherness is a sense of belonging and joy, a feeling of community. Two important steps to reaching that goal are play and passing down the family history. This could be going on an outing together to Disneyland or interviewing grandparents on what it was like to grow up on a farm. Affirmation and support are also key ingredients. With busy families and sibling rivalries, a proactive time of affirmation makes a big difference.
One of our traditions is to play the game Affirmation Bombardment on a family member’s birthday. At a special dinner prepared in his or her honor, we each take a few moments to share at least three affirming thoughts about the family member whose birthday we’re celebrating. This means that at least once during the year, each child is going to say something nice to her siblings. When we start Affirmation Bombardment, the girls usually roll their eyes; but every time before we’re finished, the power of affirmation and support touches their heart and becomes meaningful. Parents must look for ways for the family to express affirmation and support at all times, whether through something as simple as attending each other’s activities or through more formalized times of sharing like Affirmation Bombardment.
Out of history-giving and play and affirmation and support come deeper sharing. Some of the best conversations and sharing of our souls happen only after we have invested in family time. Deeper sharing causes a stronger sense of community and a more powerful sense of belonging within the family. When a family opens up and shares on an intimate level, they will meet a deep-rooted need and feel a sense of belonging and joy.