Three Ways to be a Happier Family

Family is work. Family is joy. I don't know about you but my family is the most important thing to me. I work hard at being a good mom and wife. I figure that there is no other success I can have that is more important. And some day I want to look back on the years I spent raising my kids and be proud of the things I did and the decisions I made. When my kids are thirty-something I want them to tell people how awesome their mom was (read my post: How to Make your Kids Feel Loved). I want them to always feel loved and important. I want them to feel secure. I want my husband and I to have fun together and create a lasting bond (read my post: How to Make your Husband Feel Loved). All of this sounds amazing, but stuff like this doesn't just happen.

It takes constant effort and daily work. I am going to tell you about three simple things you do make your family happier and stronger...

I'm not talking about chit chat. I'm talking about understanding each other. The thought of actually understanding a child or heaven forbid, a teenager is crazy-daunting for many parents. Let's face it, kids are frustrating. It's so much work just to keep them clothed, fed and doing their homework. All the day-to-day stuff is important but not nearly as important as creating a relationship. In sales it's proven that if the sales person creates a relationship of "likeability and trust," customers are willing to pay more and wait longer to buy from that person. Likewise, if our kids like and trust us they are willing to offer more information and keep fewer secrets. They are more likely to be themselves when they feel like they are unconditionally accepted and loved. I don't know about you, but this is precisely what I want for my children.

Team Work!
If you have ever played on a sports team (and even if you haven't) you know that on a team every person has a specific job, something they are expected to do. Something everyone else on the team depends on them to do. Creating team work opportunities in your family increases bonds and camaraderie.  We all know, that friends come and go but family is family. Through activities like cleaning the garage together or yard work, kids can learn to rely on each other. During such activities be generous with praise and encouragement (jumping up and down and cheering for your kids never hurts).

Laugh Together!
I don't remember where I read it but I recently read somewhere that if your kids don't find fun in your home they are going to find it somewhere. Sometimes fun is the last thing I want. Sometimes I just want everyone to pick up their stuff and empty the dishwasher. Sometimes I think that my schedule is way more important than fun. Luckily, I have a husband who prioritizes fun with our family. There are times when I have gone to the pool with my family half begrudgingly. I might be guilty of rolling my eyes when someone suggests a game of Monopoly. I have to tell myself that being in the moment with my kids and husband is more important than doing the things I think I need to do. I have to force myself to realize that these opportunities actually are once-in-a-lifetime and that if I pass up time to love my family I am showing my kids that other things are more important. Now, don't get me wrong. I am a get-it-done type of girl. But taking them time to laugh with your kids, wrestle on the bed, or joke around is what they are going to remember. I still remember the times my mom played with me.

Here are some simple things I do to laugh with my kids:

  • Play tickle time
  • Watch a funny show... my family watches episodes of Seinfeld
  • Play board games or charades together
There are so many things you can do and I would love to hear what you all do with you're darling families.

Aly Brooks, the editor of Entirely Eventful Day, holds a BS in Marriage, Family and Human Development.
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