“I’ll never do that to my kids,” or “I grew up with nothing. My kids are going to have everything.”
There are certain things we are adamant about.
Things we will or won’t do. These often stem from how we were affected by something in our own upbringing.
As parents, we want our kids to have it better than we did.
Unfortunately, there is no exact recipe or formula for “perfect family,” but there are practices you can engage in that automatically make you happier and healthier overall.
Here, in no particular order, are 10 practices for healthy families:
You may have grown up in an environment where things were not discussed. Feelings, trespasses, boundaries… all ignored. As a consequence, you learned to “stuff.” You never learned that short-term discomfort alleviates long-term suffering.
Even when it’s uncomfortable, make sure that the embarrassing, challenging, or otherwise difficult conversations are had. The more you practice this, the easier it becomes.
2. Make Time
Do you have a special family time? Maybe it’s a day of the week, or even an hour within the day where you play games together. Go for a walk. Cook a nice meal together. Or, you take turns: each member of the family gets to pick something they enjoy that everyone participates in. Whatever it is, make sure that you schedule this time regularly. Your kids will grow up cherishing the memories as much as you do.
3. Have a Family Mission Statement
Businesses use mission statements as a way of making sure that the decisions they make are in line with what they believe.
Creating a mission statement for your family, one that each member gets to participate in, allows you to unite through what’s important to all of you. Difficult decisions can be made by consulting the mission statement; it can keep you from drifting too far off course.
4. Learn to Say “No”
There is nothing wrong with “no.” In today’s instant gratification society, it is vital that kids (and adults) learn the value of not becoming overly reliant on things – or the instant gratification of something – to feel better. Being told “no” instills self-discipline, patience, and perseverance – especially if it’s something they really want.
It’s also important that we don’t spread ourselves so thin by saying yes to everything, and as a consequence, run ourselves ragged.
5. Take Care of One Another
Ups and downs are a normal part of life. If one family member has more struggles than another, be sure to support them, without neglecting the rest of the family. Let a child who’s not getting as much attention know how proud you are of them. Share how much you love them, and take them to do something special. Kids are intuitive, and you don’t want anyone shutting down because they don’t want to add to a perceived burden.
6. People (and experiences) Over Things
It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially in today’s society where there’s no shortage of things on the market.
All the time.
Things are good, but experiences are better. This doesn’t mean purging all your children’s clothes and toys (though it doesn’t hurt to do some of that once in a while). It just means going on a vacation, or camping. Going to the mountains, ocean, or somewhere new. Spend time learning and experience something together as a family. Don’t undervalue the importance of shared experience.
Balance is elusive. There are times in life when you’re busier and more focused on one thing. But, try to make sure that work and education get mixed with play, exercise, rest, and that you’re taking care of all aspects of yourself.
8. Give Back
Volunteering somewhere as a family is powerful. Not only are you contributing good to the world, but you also get to spend time together. Your children learn valuable lessons too, which will have a hugely positive impact on them as they grow.
9. Love Unconditionally
A no brainer, really. Your children should know their worth is not based on their achievements, or anything external. Good grades are worth celebrating, but don’t define who they are.
Through the good times, the hard times, love unconditionally.
And don’t forget to include yourself in this, too.
10. Seek Guidance
There are hundreds of things that have a massive impact on families, things that are too big to handle alone.
Seeking guidance from a family therapist is an excellent way to get back on track, and sometimes even shorten the duration of suffering.
At the Relationship Therapy Center, we offer a 15-minute free consultation, and are here to support you and your family if and whenever needed, should any challenges arise.
Begin Family Therapy in the Sacramento Area and Online in California
Your family deserves to find peace and healing. Our family therapists can help. Ultimately, we want to strengthen the relationships you have with each other and restore love and harmony in your family. To begin counseling at our Roseville or Fair Oaks counseling center or online in the state of California please follow these simple steps:
Make an appointment with one of our Gottman-trained therapists
Find support and healing in your relationship!
Other Services offered at The Family Therapy Center:
In addition to family therapy Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.