Friends, just look around and you will find that quite a few of us are facing “the empty nest syndrome”; our children have left home, they are studying/ working/ settled abroad.
We could travel to the USA after almost 21/2 years to meet our sons, their families and our granddaughter. We met her for the first time and she has already turned two!
Though we have been seeing her online almost daily, it’s nowhere close to being there in person.
The feeling, the emotions and the experience of holding her, talking to her, interacting with her, seeing her tantrums, I just cannot describe the varied emotions in words! She is so much tinier, frail, naughty and fun in real life.
Dearies, it’s not easy to maintain close bonds with our families settled overseas, both sides have to put in a lot of effort!
Just as we long to be a part of their growing families, they too crave for our love and affection. They too need to remain connected and bonded, to feel close to their roots. They cherish the sense of belonging and the family ties.
So, need is on both sides!
HOW TO DO IT? Friends, it’s no rocket science. Effort has to be from both the sides!
A) Family Chat sessions-
Do create a family group if it’s not in place already, keep sharing pics, highlights of day/week, do respond to the posts, even just an emoji will do if one is busy.
Celebrate special days, B’days, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc., use these occasions for family bonding, slowly they will become your family rituals.
All of us enjoy these celebrations thoroughly, it helps us bond and feel close to our family. Everyone feels connected and HAPPY!
B) One on one talks with each child-
We try to have talkathons with each son separately on weekends; it helps us know what’s going on in their life, we also exchange our views and concerns. We try not to share these on the family group!
Guys, we must try to keep these interactions short and sweet, let them feel your unconditional love, bestow your blessings and always end on a positive note!
A sure shot way to happiness.
C) Do not criticise the Daughter-in-law or the Son-in-law-
Never ever run down the spouses of your children, any negative talk in this direction must be discouraged. Let them sort out their issues, refrain from preaching/ giving your own examples/ unsolicited advice. Shun family politics, show zero tolerance to such behavior!
An integrated family is a happy family.
D)Treat your children with love, affection and respect-
In many families even parents tend to be biased towards the child who is doing better in life. This behavior always creates bitterness and harms the family unity.
Sometimes, children too play the victim card, don’t fall prey to such tactics.
We the elders have to be impartial and principled.
Our role is to guide them, mentor them and to show them the correct path without being judgmental!
Give unconditional love to be happy!
E) Be open, be fair, be just-
The GOLDEN RULE to keep the family united, to create good vibes and to encourage family bonhomie is to have an honest, clear and balanced approach in family matters.
We must show them the path by practicing not by preaching.
This is the tried and tested way to happy and harmonious family dynamics!
Friends, values are not something that one can just hand over,
We have to practice them,
So that our children can imbibe them,
And, pass them on to their next generation!