Happy Families

What can you do to make your family a happier one?

The word “family” can mean pretty much anything these days, from the traditional family structure of two parents and their children living together to single parents, step-parents and extended families. But whatever type of family you belong to, there are certain things that can help make yours a happy one.

Be Positive

One of the most important elements of a happy family is positive communication. This means being loving, understanding and patient. Talk honestly with your family and listen with your full attention. Reassure your family that you love them, be affectionate and make time to spend with each other. Encourage them to do the same.

Don’t be afraid to share your feelings, and allow the expression of negative as well as positive emotions. Work together to solve problems

Quality not Quantity

Working families can find it hard to spend time together, but with the right planning, you can achieve quality family time. Try to make dinner time a family time, where everyone can come together and talk. Arrange regular family outings, and ensure that everyone is together for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.

There’s No “I” in “Team”

Involving your kids in family decisions can help to make them feel more worthwhile. Divide household chores up fairly, taking everyone’s needs into account. Set house rules that apply to everyone – not just the kids.

Agree to Disagree

Just like in other groups, families are made up of individuals with their own likes, dislikes and points of view. Make sure you respect other family members’ opinions, take an interest in their hobbies or careers, and support them by attending special events like sports days, concerts or award nights.

The No Nos

Problem families often have certain things in common. Try to avoid the following in your family:

Unfair power distribution, such as one parent ruling the household;

Failing to deal with fights or problems;

Lacking respect for each other as individuals;

Not talking or listening to each other;

Refusing to acknowledge or accept anyone else’s point of view;

Using only negative forms of communication, such as yelling, criticising or sulking; and

Using physical punishment such as smacking or hitting as the main form of discipline.


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