Parents are working full-time; kids are busy with school and sports; the house is a mess; and scheduling is chaos. Such is life! But within this wonderfully crazy life, there lies an undercurrent where family strength and contentment can be achieved.
When you understand the eight secrets to family happiness and apply them in your own home, you’ll find that even when things seem out of control, your family’s closeness and confidence in one another perseveres.
The following eight secrets are not listed in any particular order. Number eight is just as important as number one.
Secret One: Develop effective communication skills. Communication can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s your responsibility to choose how communication affects your life. If you take the time and trouble to develop effective communications skills, you will unlock many doors for your future success at work and at home with the family. An effective communicator can:
Secret Two:Master the art of problem-solving and conflict resolution. Entire business conventions are devoted to this single challenge. Here are some tips to incorporating problem-solving/conflict resolution methods at home:
Secret Three: Develop healthy self-esteem in your children. Self-esteem empowers people to accept and embrace the role of leader.
There are four essential elements to building healthy self-esteem in your children:
Secret Four: Trust your intuition. Empathy is an important tool in being able to relate to and care for others. One key to empathy is learning to trust your intuition. If your intuition is fine-tuned, you can trust the feelings or impressions you get about other people. Sometimes a lot of facts or data are not available to us. In these cases, trusting your intuition will prove to be a valuable resource. Trusting your intuition as a parent and teaching your children the importance of empathy develops strong compassion and concern within the family and outside of it.
Secret Five: Build resilience. As a parent, you must be consistent and strong when it comes to family values and discipline. Both parents must make a united front in raising their children and that can be difficult, especially if you have different discipline styles. Here are a few guidelines when it comes to discipline:
Secret Six:Develop skills to become more caring and patient. Parenting is not easy. And everyone can recall a time when they were impatient or snapped at their children due to stress or other factors. It doesn’t make you a bad parent! However, there are ways to strengthen your patience. Here are some tips:
Secret Seven: Find effective methods of managing stress. Effectively managing stress can be the one secret that allows you to implement the other seven! Stress can wreak havoc on a family in many, many ways. One of the most important keys to family happiness is maintaining a positive attitude and helping encourage positive attitudes among the children and your spouse. Negativity breeds negativity. Whether you begin exercising or spend a half hour each day meditating (which ever way you prefer to ‘meditate’), finding a way to reduce the amount of stress you bring into a household is essential.
Secret Eight: Be flexible! This is another very important secret. There is no set of rules that can cover every possible situation or instance that may arise. Try not to get caught up in how things ‘should’ be done. Recognize the individual differences in every event or situation. Use what you have learned as guidelines, but be flexible. Rigidity to a set of rules will simply set you and your goal of creating family happiness up for failure.
Family happiness is not a myth. You probably already use some of these ‘secrets’ at work or in other areas of your life, but just may not have thought of applying them directly to your family. If some of these tips are new to you, try actively applying them professionally or in relationships. You’ll find that not only are they the eight secrets to family happiness, but they are also the eight secrets to happiness as a whole.
Sharon Fried Buchalter, Ph.D., is a distinguished clinical psychologist, family/marriage therapist, relationship expert and author. Dr. Sharon has developed revolutionary tools to help couples, parents, and families achieve happiness and success. Her book, Children Are People Too, provides eight essential steps designed to strengthen families and empower parents to be their own child’s life coach and mentor. Her new book, New Parents Are People Too, provides relationship advice for couples entering parenthood for the first time. For more information visit www.peopletoounlimited.com.
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