As all structures that have a strong foundation are able to endure all kinds of weathering, similarly families that have a foundation built on trust, love and compassion are able to sail through every difficulty and yet stand strong as a unit.
Parents who follow these basic ideologies often have families that are well knit and content:
- Communicate: In a family, it is important ‘to listen and be listened to’. Every member of the family should feel at ease in communicating with each other, be it success or failure. Especially children feel secure and loved if they know they can share their feelings. Communication gap leads to misunderstandings, boredom and distrust and can shake the foundation of a family.
- Spend Quality Time: A family that spends quality time together regularly creates a time for the family to bond, connect and talk about important issues and encourages healthy living. If you have young children at home, read stories aloud to them, or listen to audiobooks, or read individually and spend some time writing - maintain a diary, reading and writing will limit time in front of the T.V. and computer.
- Togetherness – Like the Von Trapp family, a family that sings and dances together stays together. Celebrate, just being together! Involve everyone in the household and make everyday chores fun. Put on the music while doing the laundry, encourage them to make their beds and fold and keep their clothes while dancing to the beat of the music. To instill healthy eating habits and make cooking fun, parents and children can cook together sometimes.
Snack on cut up veggies and fruits, or dried fruits and nuts. Avoid too sugary or salty processed foods that can wreak havoc with your family’s health and moods.
- Exercise, Play and Have fun together: Parents can join an aerobics or yoga class together with their kids, or exercise with the demo video running. Better still is to get some fresh air to get the heart working – take a walk, a bike ride, jump a rope, rollerblade, play basketball or soccer. If you have a pool nearby, swimming is a good option.
Having fun while gardening, plotting surprise parties, laughing out during pillow fights or water-fights infuses a sense of joy, reduces stress and creates fond memories.
- Instill Good Morals and Values: ‘You reap what you sow’- so if you as parents inculcate respect, sharing, caring and spirituality instead of giving more importance to materialistic things, you will have a family bond that’s hard to break even in times of adversity.
Discuss ideas instead of people, discourage feelings of envy, resentment and focus more on internal beauty than physical appearance.
- Make your home a safe haven, a sanctuary where all family members can come to when they are physically and emotionally tired, where they can feel protected and revive to face the world’s challenges. Be there for your spouse and kids, do not overwork, maintain harmony with your spouse and do not fight over finances or raise your voices especially in front of kids.
Children learn from what they witness so it is very important to be a role model for them, demonstrate your love for each other, this goes a long way in making a child emotionally stable.
- Appreciate and Reward: It’s important to make every member of the family feel special and valued. Take out a one-to-one time with every child, even if it is for 10 minutes, daily. Celebrate their successes, talents and remember birthdays and anniversaries and exchange gifts. Plan outings together as a family.
- Make routines, set boundaries yet be flexible: Discipline at home can work wonders on your mood as you will be able to manage your responsibilities and also get some time for yourself. When things run smoothly, there are less chances of arguments and disagreements. However, a little flexibility can create the much needed space that all members need.
- Finally, cuddle and snuggle: Physical touch creates a sense of security and good feeling among family members. Children love to snuggle in their parent’s beds when reading, watching a movie or while talking and playing. It gives a sense of warmth, affection and being loved and melts away the stress of the day.
Habits like these are what healthy families are made of, from spending quality time together, love and be loved, discipline and values to being there for each other in every up and down of life.
Jemima Mayers is a passionate Health and Lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health industry and is a staff writer at HourglassExpress, The best waist trainers, corsets, cinchers and shapewear.