Stocksy grass

Happy Family Day: 5 awesome ways to strengthen your family

In our busy day and age, it’s easy to consider Family Day yet another opportunity to have a day off. Yet, if we stop for a minute to create a new ritual, it can become a powerful moment of strengthening bonds and improving family habits. So here are 5 awesome habits you can add to your repertoire!

Awesome ways #1 to 3: Better parenting tools:

We learn parenting on the fly, really. From childhood memories of “I will definitely do that” and “I will never do this to my kids” to observing others to lessons learned from movies and TV shows, we amass an unconscious puzzle ideas and habits that guides our interactions at home, and gets routinely challenged by our growing treasures.

But there is a vast amount of expertise available to us. A couple of great books are a #mustread for any family: Steven Covey’s “The 7 habits of Highly Effective Families” and Dr. Phil’s “Family First”.

Steven Covey successfully applies to the family unit the 7 habits that made him famous. Full of great examples, interesting stories and practical suggestions, this is a marvel of a guide-book for families. Dr. Phil’s book also covers 7 strategies to help build phenomenal families, but from a different perspective. His is the more psychology informed approach, and he demystifies a number of key concepts around successful parenting.

The third awesome way is for Vancouver parents to consider attending the Parenting conferences set up by the Vancouver International Children’s Festival. Inspired by TED talks, these are called PEP talks - four thought-provoking talks by the top thinkers on the issues every parent faces today. They will be held at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre on March 7th, April 10th, May 15th, and June 12th, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $130 for the entire series, or $35 per speaker (and all for a good cause as net proceeds go to support the Vancouver International Children’s Festival).  And tip: get your tickets for the Festival itself soon as shows fill up fast!

Awesome ways #4 and 5: Technology helping families

And now for the technology angle! Two new #mustuse services put technology to work helping families stay in touch: Picplum and Perch.

San Francisco based Picplum is a service that prints photos you upload or email to their site and then ships them to anyone you want anywhere - all for the same price as it would be for you to do it yourself! If you are like most busy parents, you are far too busy to organize photos, let alone to find the time to print and share them. That’s where Picplum comes in - it remembers who you send what. So this means happiness for relatives around the world who have been asking for photos because they are not as online as you are, but more importantly, even the super tech savvy are touched by a package in the mail full of photos of loved ones, especially children.

Perch on the other hand is an equally cool innovation in the video space - Vancouver based and created by parents for parents, this is a 21st century marvel, an intuitive, hands-free method of video communication for the family. Families can use Perch to stay connected using wall mounted iOS devices in the home - perfect use for an iPhone. The facial detection technology automatically knows when you have something to say and records it - easy peasy! Family members who are not at home receive those messages as video alerts, and can reply from wherever they are. If you choose to enable motion detection, you’ll also receive a notification when something interesting happens in your home, which you can then share with your family.

What ways have you found to make your families stronger? Please share! And Happy Family Day to all.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MOM, MD, CEO and Co-founder myBestHelper

Posted: February 09, 2013