It is easy to get buried in work and routines and lose sight of your family. About six out of every ten working moms would admit finding it challenging to find a healthy balance between work and home life. However, a 2020 poll suggested that Americans are the happiest they’ve been in the past 50 years.
Maybe this could get better if there were happier families with less stress. So, how can you ensure you have a happier, stress-free family?
Here are 12 simple ways to keep your family happier.
- Be flexible and communicate
The nature of your family will begin to change as each person grows. When teenagers are no longer kids, some get married, or some move away, they are still part of the family. This means that everyone changes, and this can affect your family in several ways. Therefore, it is vital to be flexible, understand and communicate your feelings on sensitive issues.
Doing this would help resolve misunderstandings quicker, prevent resentment, and foster bonds. Like every life activity, communication is crucial, so every family member should communicate openly.
- Create some snuggle time
Why not take advantage of those Saturday mornings to have all your kids join you in bed for a few minutes to cuddle? For most of the week, you may have to leap out of bed early to get your family prepared for their day. This gives you little time to bond. You can have one day in a week to hang out and spend some time with your family. You shouldn’t limit snuggle time to only your kids but your spouse too. Avoid scheduling anytime for your Saturday mornings to have some quality family snuggle time.
- Share stories
It is essential to encourage your kids to talk to you about their day, from what happened in school, what a friend said, to their opinion on something they read. It is also helpful to have a story for them too. But this is almost impossible when you return from your busy day, tired and uninterested, only to turn the TV on in a few minutes.
Your kids won’t be so excited to see you and wouldn’t want to talk to you. The right thing here is to put them first. Even when you have had a long day, come with a bit of story to share. This way, your kids will always look forward to seeing you and talking to you. This creates a great way for you to know them, gain their trust and improve your family life.
- Practice deep breathing
The truth is, sometimes, your family can be a bit handful. Your kids or spouse can bring you close to losing it. It would be helpful to find ways to cool off. Experts have recommended taking three deep breaths to calm yourself. Deep breathing is one of the effective calming techniques which works for kids too.
It is common to see young kids practice deep breaths to avoid fighting a younger sibling. Even when you begin snarling at them, you’ll be surprised to have an older sibling remind you to take deep breaths.
- Enjoy each other
Your family should be your biggest fans, willing to lift each other and support each other. After a busy day, be happy to come home into your safe place around people you love. This makes your family feel loved and appreciated and would feel the same way about you. Be sure to enjoy their family life and allow them to enjoy you too.
- Give compliments
Everyone likes being praised for the efforts they have made.
Doing this for your family is a great way of building a happier family. You can choose to take a rather indirect approach by letting them overhear you praise them to someone else. Overhearing a compliment usually sounds more genuine and plays a significant role in a person’s self-esteem, and encourages them to keep up the good work.
You can also give compliments by purchasing unique gifts. Suppose your child or spouse has overcome a challenge or accomplished something great. In that case, you should consider getting them that item they’ve meant to get- a new phone, car, shoes, or perhaps a luxury brand watch from Watchbox.
- Prioritize family time
The happiest families put themselves first before friends. Unfortunately, some parents don’t appreciate that caring for their kids should also be fun. While setting the rules, it is essential to understand that your kids need fun. Younger children can quickly get bored and listless.
In no time, you’ll find them seeking excitement outside the home. At this point, they begin to place more importance on their friendships. Friendship is no doubt important, yet that shouldn’t come at the expense of family life.
- Have a never-ending game
You can set a few minutes each day to play that game with your kid. While others attempt a 150-piece jigsaw puzzle, others play backgammon. However, the most important thing is to have that game you can return to every day. You can also read a chapter or two of a story your children enjoy. This should be an everyday ritual and a time-out from the stressful demands of daily life as it helps both kids and parents relax and connect.
- Media blackouts
Declare one night every week for a media blackout where nobody turns on the TV, computers, smartphone, or any device in the house. This uninterrupted downtime can help your family create genuine, old-fashioned interaction. Many families struggle to engage or honestly communicate with the continued use and dependence on technology and social media.
Despite the rich benefits of technology to human life, a study has shown that technology can undermine relationships and family life. For this reason, media blackouts can help find low-tech ways to have fun, like telling jokes, reading aloud, singing, or playing a musical instrument.
- Limit your kids’ after-school activities
Today’s growing kids are overscheduled and participate in more after-school activities every week. While you become a chauffeur, the kids are never at home. This isn’t a recipe for anything good for a happy family. No after-school is extreme, and there is nothing like too many after-school activities. However, the key here is moderation. If possible, create your after-school activities. It could be a bike ride, after-school swimming, or taking the kids for rollerblading—anything you can enjoy as a family.
- Sunday-evening soiree
Like most families, it is common to feel a letdown when the weekend is drawing to an end while still having your fridge filled with leftovers. Why not invite your neighbors with their kids for a Sunday evening soiree? Don’t forget to remind them to come along with their leftovers too. Imagine having various blends of ham, cold turkey, Chinese food, and pastries. This gathering is low-key yet helps take away the blues of the ending weekend. The Sunday-evening soiree can either be indoors or in your backyard, but one thing is main – do it in style.
- Avoid arguing in the presence of your kids
It is never a good sign to see two people having a good at each other and never one to have in front of the kids. Some bickering and fighting are inevitable, yet make sure to keep it away from the kids. Should that happen in the presence of the kids, apologize and tell them it was just a disagreement, but everything is fine now?
Some research has suggested that even sleeping babies can feel their parents bickering and display signs of increased stress when they hear raised and angry voices. Meanwhile, other studies indicate that incensed arguments among parents can damage a child’s mental health more than even separation.
Life is demanding, and there is no escaping from it. These simple ways should help you sneak in some spontaneous fun, make conversations, break stress, and forge strong family connections to encourage everybody to feel good and boost happiness.