Family togetherness involves spending quality time together. This time might include sitting down, playing games or even having conversations. Most families have special times to work together to learn something new, such as cooking a meal, but team building for the family means taking on a focused duty with a defined purpose that results in strengthening family unity. Completing the task brings the family together. Family team building, according to Clemson University, should include times for communication and unity, and the activity should help build self-esteem and reinforce resiliency, values and optimism for all members of the family.
Sports activities offer a way for a family to work together as a team. Local community leagues or neighborhood associations sometimes have opportunities for families to play together, but many families also play in informal leagues with community or church groups such as the YMCA. Family teams learn to work together and develop specialized skills to cover all the positions or roles needed to participate in the sports activity. Selecting activities that focus on personal best, instead of winning or losing, helps families with children of all age groups bond together.
Hiking, mountain climbing or camping trips allow time for the family to learn and build team skills to plan, pack the necessary equipment and take a special role in the adventure. Local community branches of the Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental organization, offer special outdoor activities where families can develop the spirit of a team. Adult and teen family members play different roles in the outdoor activity compared with young children, but all members have important duties for the adventure, such as purchasing the equipment and helping set up the outdoor activity. Formally organized family activities include climbing local mountains or taking a hike along a regional trail.
Dining together as a family helps build a home team environment by planning regular meals. Assigning specific duties according to age, expertise and experience puts every member of the family in charge of a course or duty for the meal such as chopping lettuce or grilling meat or poultry. The Yale Medical Group encourages family dinners together to teach manners, reinforce listening skills and build respect for each other. Family cooking activities can expand the preparation team to plan and cook for extended family, elderly relatives or neighbors unable to prepare formal meals.
Families volunteering as formal or informal teams can help community members by serving as a crew to plan or complete a project. Volunteer teams can serve with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for low-income families. Teams take charge of specific duties for the new home, such as painting or shingling the roof, and family teaming allows parents and children to work together to complete a range of construction activities from sorting nails to actual construction. Some volunteer work, including trail building or picking up trash in wildlife areas for the Nature Conservancy or the National Wildlife Federation, allows family teams to contribute to nature preservation.
- The YMCA: The Y for Healthy Living
- Habitat for Humanity: About Habitat for Humanity
- Sierra Club: Local Outings
- National Wildlife Federation: Volunteer
- National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Strengthening Families Program
- Yale School of Medicine Yale Medical Group: Why the Family Meal Is Important
- Clemson University: Building Family Strengths -- The 10 Family Strengths
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