×

Creating a happier family life can spill over into many other aspects of life, from health to career.

boy hugs mom

Finding that happy place can seem impossible or daunting for some. But there are steps you can take to nurture positive relationships at home.

The key to any relationship is communication.

Take time to listen to your children and spouse — not just hear them. A great time to really bond is after school and work.

I know you are tired/stressed but this is a time when children want to let you know what their day was like and have you validate them by listening.

Respect their opinions and have open discussions about topics they feel are important but also let them know what you think and value.this gives them guidelines to live by when you are not there.

Put your marriage/spouse first.

The parents’ relationship should be nourished. Strong spousal bonds make strong, stable families and families thrive on stability. Parents who love each other and show it help model adult relationships for their children.

Be together!

Limit after-school activities so that mom is not just a chauffeur and the family is rarely together in one place. This enables families to eat dinner together and have conversations with each other, become more intimate and build stronger bonds.

Instead of rushing around to 10 places after school or work each day, you can spend that time together teaching skills like cooking, helping kids with homework, bike-riding, walking together, or developing family rituals that will last in your children’s memories forever.

Make your home a safe, calm place.

You want to create an environment that the family wants to be in, not escape. You can do this by never arguing with your spouse in front of the children and never allowing siblings to be excessively rude or violent with each other.

This sounds difficult, but by having strict rules that are consistently applied fairly to all family members, conflict can be avoided and peace achieved.

Make your family special.

Have inside jokes; give your family a nickname; have special family-only rituals for holidays or vacations or even just on weekends.

Children who identify themselves as special or important in their family unit excel outside of the home. They have an identity and know who they are and where they come from. They have guidelines to get where they are going and are more likely to be successful adults.

It takes time

All of these aspects of happy family life require your time, presence and involvement.

Believe it or not, you are more important to your child than an iPod or video game.

Most of us do not have to work all the time to survive. Those extra work activities may buy more “things,” but in the long run your time with your children and spouse is more valuable and will result in a lifetime of memories, joy and lessons well-learned.

About the Author

I enjoy children and love to work with them as they grow and mature. The relationships I form between my patients and their families make my career particularly rewarding. I practice medicine democratically, developing a partnership between physician, patient and family. Listening to my patients is my best asset.
Read more about me on my biography page.