Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy families

Growing up in a relaxed and happy environment can reduce anxiety levels in children. However, perhaps family life is not as perfect as we’d like it to be. Psychologists have long argued that our relationships with family members have an enormous impact on our well-being. It is therefore crucial to put both time and effort into them in order to make them as strong as they can be. Here are some tips to help create happy families.

  • Fun. Have fun together. It can be easy to dismiss activities as 'something for the kids' while you just sit and watch, but having fun and laughing together is a crucial bonding experience. Get involved with the kids and don’t be afraid to be silly. 
  • Allow free communication. This does not include talking about mundane daily topics, but discussing real issues that matter to your family. If you provide an open environment where your children are encouraged to communicate freely about their opinions and lives, they will be more likely to come to you if they have any problems. 
  • Partner. Don’t be afraid to put your partner first. Arrange a babysitter and spend time with your partner. A loving relationship is the backbone of a family and teaches your children crucial lessons about relationships. 
  • Individuals. Each member of your family is an individual but because we spend so much time around them we can easily 'habituate', this means we stop noticing their individual qualities. Take a step back and appreciate your family member’s unique abilities and personality, this will help you to value you them more. 
  • Love and respect one another. In school, children are taught to respect others, but this message is often ignored at home. If your children see you and your partner respecting one another, this will set an example and they will be more likely to respect their siblings and others. 
  • Interact with each family member. If you have more than one child, spend time with each child individually each day. This will make the child feel special and strengthen bonds between you. 
  • Eat together. Humans have turned the basic need for food into an important time to socialise so turn off the TV and use this time to connect with one another. 
  • Spend time together. As your children grow older and become more independent, it can be difficult to set aside time together as a family. Schedule time and plan activities that you can all enjoy.

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