Having a healthy and happy family is something we all aspire to have. But in today’s high-stress, and demanding society, meeting this goal is a challenge. Being healthy and happy takes a plan of action. It will not just happen.
When you begin a family it is important to define your core values and standards. Do not assume that your partner or other members of your family know what your goals are. It is important to verbalize them and while we should not need anyone’s permission, we have to be on the same page. For example, if your goal is to work your way up the corporate ladder, then become a small business owner before you begin a family, your partner should know that. If their idea of the road you are on takes you to a comfortable position in someone else’s company and working until retirement, you have issues to resolve.
Making a place for each member of the family
This is something that many families do not address until it is too late. We begin on level ground. Each partner works hard, plans for the future, and makes their partner a top priority. Then we expand our families. As the children grow so does their academic and social lives. School, after-school programs, sports, dance, and relationships for this little person who is totally dependent on you begins to take over. Soon it becomes a struggle determining who will transport, assist, participate, and nurture these important parts of your child.
If this is not openly and honestly worked on, it is inevitable that one parent will feel they have the lion’s share of responsibility, and that can lead to resentment. It begins to feel that everyone is being considered except for the parent who is doing the majority of the work.
It is important to remember that our children learn their relationship guidelines through us. It doesn’t matter what we tell them. They absorb the emotions in the air. They observe the way the adults interact. If they treat each other with love, and respect, they get that. If they are inconsiderate, abusive, and selfish toward each other, they get that too.
Take the time to stay connected. Show an adult force in the house that protects and nurtures every member. Treat your partner as if you just met them. Open doors for them, bring them cards, or delectable chocolates like Lindt Lindor Truffles for special occasions. Say please and thank you. Teach your child how to treat others and how to expect respect for themselves by setting a good example.
Have healthy activities
It is important to have family activities that keep the family healthy. Make it a point to walk together, go to the park, ride bikes, or swim together. Take the stairs and park far away from the mall doors. Keep your family active in a normal way that fits into your lifestyle. This helps you avoid problems.
One rule for all
When it comes to eating a healthy diet, there should be one rule for all. Do not fill your child’s plate with veggies while you munch on french fries. Try growing a few fresh veggies or fruits together. Experiment with tastes and textures of foods, and create a family diet that tastes great and is good for you.
Have an escape plan
We make plans for when things go wrong financially, emotionally, and socially. But when we mess up in our family, we expect those who love us to just roll with it. Acknowledge when you have made a mistake and ask for forgiveness. Do not hide behind your position or point out your partner’s weaknesses to divert attention from your own. Every family should have an escape plan. This is a place they can go and ask for forgiveness or help without fear of retribution or condemnation.
These tips are common sense. However, many families spend their lives without ever facing them head-on. This is a big mistake. It is never too early or too late to set the plan in motion for a healthy family.
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