Photo Credit: Allen Taylor
We all want what’s best for our families. We know that the choices we make form the habits the next generation will carry on. Keeping a family healthy and happy is a continual process. We will help you begin.
In this article we will give you a few clues to provide your family with the tools they need to be balance, focused, and happy. We will show you slow but deliberate steps toward your goal.
How do you define a healthy family?
You provide healthy meals for your family. You make sure your kids get plenty of exercise, clean water, and sleep. You take them to regular medical and dental visits. But is that enough?
All of these things are important. But if you want your children to be balanced, you have to look beyond the obvious and look at the world through a wider lens. We have to consider love, fun, and life’s little rewards.
- Physical health (as stated)
- Yearly check-ups from your doctor and dentist
- Emotional health
- It is up to you to teach your children to show love.
- Use your words. Verbally express your love, disappointment, pride, and anger. Words are building blocks. When we have anger or frustration, it will come out in negative ways. Make your home judgment-free and encourage the art of conversation.
- Spiritual health
- There are many different views on spirituality. However you choose to incorporate your spiritual beliefs into your world, it is comforting to conclude you have a higher power. All people need to know there is something or someone bigger than themselves watches over us.
Photo Credit: Quentin Dr.
- The art of loving ourselves, our family, and others
The attributes of creating your healthy family are personal, and only you and your life partner or family support system can address them. We encourage you to talk about these things and decide together how you will teach these values to your family. Once you have identified your core values, live by them and expect your children to live by the same moral code. This will not be difficult if your children are eager to mimic their parents.
Encourage your children to participate in events outside your home or school. Scouting, dance class, karate lessons, or volunteering. When there is an event that needs adult help, volunteer your time. Make it special by handing out personalized candy at your next school fundraiser, carnival, or bake sale. If you are looking for personalized candy wrapper for your next event, order them online along with a huge supply of delicious candy (even sugar-free).
Photo credit: Sneha Chekuri
Everyone matters equally
This is a big issue. Our busy schedules make it difficult to have a family life, career, and social life. It seems that one parent is always on the go trying to get Tommy to football practice and Nickie to dance class.
Make a calendar as a family. Write each person’s name and their activities in a specific color. Include pick-ups, to and from events and not the time these things take. Now, look at the calendar. Is there a specific color that dominates the calendar? Everyone has a clear picture, and everyone should be part of the solution. Trade off duties with the other parent. If one child is in too many activities, eliminate some of the activities. Make sure you give each child equal time.
Mandatory family night
It does not matter when it is. Pick an evening for family time. For example, select Tuesday night from 7 to bedtime. On that day, children do their homework when they get home. Do something as a family. Go for a walk to the park and play with the kids, play board games, order pizza and watch a movie, work on a puzzle. Whatever you do, do it together.
Be a partner first
A long time ago, you met someone and fell in love. You chose to spend the rest of your life together. Then your love grew in the form of children. So many times people focus all their time on the children that they ignore their partner. This is what numbs relationships and sometimes kills them. Set an example for your kids that you are a team. Make sure you have at least one date night a month. Let the kids bond with their grandparents. For that one night, you are with the person you love. All your focus is on them.
Adult issues stay between adults
Never discuss adult issues in front of your children. Even is the disagreement is about them, take it behind closed doors. All they need to know is the decision that was made. Do not insult each other, blame each other, or disrespect each other in front of your child. How you treat each other will be a road map to how they treat their partner, Give your kid a break.
It will take a little effort, but you can build a healthy family. Soon it will just be a normal routine. Your entire family will be happier and healthier for years to come.