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The following suggestions will help to create a solid foundation for your family's wellbeing. Building upon this foundation may be a challenge at times. An objective professional, who is supportive and experienced can help you to create harmony and balance within your family.
1. Laugh often. Attempt to find the humor in as many situations as possible. Adopt a "how important is it attitude" and try to not be so serious about everything.
2. Share at least one meal a day together. Devote a meal to nourishing your bodies and family relationships. Meals are essential and secure times to debrief, inform, and discuss what's going on. The ritual of preparing and sharing connects us to one another.
3. Encourage and respect quiet time and privacy. We all need space at times. Time to be inside, to reflect, to feel, helps to clarify who we are and what we need.
4. Give permission to always have time to talk and be heard. Forbid no topic, assure the communication door is always open. Speak the words, "I love you," "thank you," "please," and "I appreciate you!" everyday. Remember, we were given two ears and only one mouth!
5. Choose your entertainment carefully. Be conscious of your diet and frequency of movies, television, radio and the news. Discuss passive versus active recreation and entertainment.
6. Define family values with clear expectations. By age seven or eight, a child should be able to identify and discuss "What's really important to our family." It's these known values which orient and anchor our decisions about our lives.
7. Keep it simple. Avoid extra demands and activities that keep us stressed out and too busy to enjoy what's essential.
8. Have strong connections with others. Be thankful for your mentors, role models and caring families and friends. Create a network that provides a "safety net" in good times and hard times.
9. Keep your home reasonably orderly and comfortable. Put into place systems that allow the basics to be handled consistently and with an "all hands effort."
By: Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD