The quality of our family lives has a significant influence on every other aspect of our lives. Accomplishing a strong family bond doesn’t happen by accident. It requires daily effort from all members, especially the parents.
Today I would like to share 8 habits of a successful family.
Every person in the family needs to feel treasured
This is demonstrated by what you say and your actions. Tell your kids that you love them and that you’re proud of them all the time. Hugging or cuddle time is critical for the little ones, consider creating a cool handshake with the older kids.
Kids need to see that you, as parents listen to each other when mom talks dad listens and vice versa. The way we talk to our kids is going to be the way that they speak to us and others. If kids know that we listen, they will talk to us more. Remember, there are times for listening and times for teaching. When they are highly distressed and emotional, listen don’t teach.
Children are different, and we need to customize parenting according to each child’s needs and temperament. Celebrate and encourage their differences. For example, if one child is gifted academically and the other in sport, it’s essential that when each child does well in their area of expertise, the whole family celebrates, that way each child will get a chance to be celebrated.
Respect is mutual. Children should know that we respect other races, religions and cultures. Encourage them to be curious about other people. The way that you treat others, is the same way that your children will treat them. For example, if you disrespect your waiter in front of your children, don’t be surprised when your children do the same. Even more important is the way that you treat support staff if you treat them as if they are invisible, there’s a high probability your kids will do the same.
You are not doing your child any favours by not giving them responsibilities. Responsibilities and routines give them a great sense of security. Consider having a family meeting at the beginning of each year to discuss new duties as your child gets older. Each year that goes by, more responsibilities are added, and the meeting allows a parent to give a rationale for the added responsibilities.
Play is not an option— it’s a necessity. Encourage your child to play, try to play with them as often as you can. Not only is playtime a great bonding occasion, but it’s also an excellent teaching opportunity. Play is also essential for older kids and board games are the perfect solution.
Celebrating family rituals or traditions
If you are trying to build a strong sense of family, create family rituals. They create a great sense of belonging and stability. If you have a blended family, create new rituals, and if you have older kids, you can let them create new rituals. For example, we eat dinner together every evening, no cellphones and no TV. We use that time as an opportunity to catch up on each other’s day.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you feel like you’re failing. Talk to other parents, attend parenting workshops, and seek professional advice if necessary.
Remember, parenting is a daily learning experience. Be kind to yourself, and your best is good enough.