Families come in all shapes and sizes. And the factors that enter into any family give it it’s own unique identity. We are all influenced by our environment and our early relationships, so much so that what we experience in our own families will continue to perpetuate in all future relationships. Our family is our most important link in life and that link will forever shape our relationships at work, play and love.
Happiness may seem elusive, especially on particularly difficult days of parenting, working and fitting in the normal routines. But there are a few basic tenets that can help develop and lead to happiness within a family. Really … they are very basic things that will help to bring happiness into your family, no matter what problems arise. We often forget that sometimes the most simple solutions are the best solutions.
5 Keys to a Happy Family
- Family Responsibility
Unconditional love is a deep feeling that someone will love you no matter what. Normally, this is the kind of love that a parent has for their children. Not all parents, or caregivers, demonstrate the love that they feel. As we know, actions speak louder than words. You and I can say “I love you” all the time but, if our actions don’t show that, then our real feelings may not actually be felt by our kids or partner.
We must also remember to communicate love. One thing I have found that helps to reinforce how I feel is to tell my children, in difficult situations, that I might not like what they have done but I will always love them. We can show disapproval and still instill that feeling of unconditional love. And it is also important to show affection. I see many parents that don’t really give hugs and show affection on a daily basis. Affection is an action showing love, so try to get those hugs in on a regular basis.
Even the smallest act of kindness can have a monumental effect on a person. Your examples of kindness will not go unnoticed. I believe that my own children are kind, themselves, because of the examples of kindness that they saw growing up. Even giving someone a smile can be an act of kindness, if it is given with thought.
Respect begins with the parents. Children must see mutual respect between their parents in order to show respect themselves. It’s the example thing again. Whether you are happily married, divorced or living apart from your children’s other parent, it is really imperative that they see displays of respect for one another. Nothing destroys respect faster than verbal disapproval, snide remarks or even bad-mouthing the other parent. If this behavior is allowed to go on, kids will eventually emulate this behavior now and in future relationships. It’s what they have been taught.
Try to always speak kindly and respectfully. If there is a situation that has you up in arms, attempt to find the good in it. Your kids will learn respect and treat you with respect in return.
One of the things I often notice in families these days is the lack of shared family responsibility. Kids need to feel that they are an important part of the family … that their contributions matter. This can be developed early on when kids are small by providing easy little chores for them to do on a regular basis. But if you haven’t done this from an early age it is never to late to start. I believe that kids and parent both should feel that it is their shared duty to help keep the house and yard in order. It gives a sense of belonging and caring that all families should experience.
“Humor makes all things tolerable.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher I have heard that children laugh 10,000 times in a week and adults only laugh 10 times. I figure if I am fortunate enough to spend time with my kids, I will be one of the lucky ones to laugh often. If there is one thing I would suggest to make parenting easier, it would be to learn to laugh more. There are many days and many nights that you might just feel like crying. If you can learn to laugh at situations, even little things that happen that seem overwhelming, you will be happier. Your child will be happier, your spouse will be happier, and you will have deflected some stress from yourself. As parents, life can be hard but happiness and humor should have a place in our daily lives. As the saying goes “Laughter is the best medicine” … have a little each day.