Secrets to a Stress-Free, Happy, Healthy Family
Family life. Dirty socks on the floor, that empty toilet paper roll they can become sources of stress that build into real discontent. Add juggling your kids, parents, partner, and joball during a recessionand its no wonder we're short on fun. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Our simple do-it-today steps will help you build a strong, happy, healthier family.
- Fun up family meals.
We know that eating together can boost achievement in children, lower the chance for eating disorders in girls, and lower depression rates in both girls and boys. But that doesn't mean meals have to be serious, formal affairs. Simple, humorous rituals are what children remember as adults. Try a monthly “backward day,” serving breakfast for dinner and vice versa, or watch Saturday-morning cartoons together over breakfast. “Silly things that don't cost a dime will bring you closer together,”
- Stay home, stay together.
Tape a note to the telephone that says “No!” to remind you not to spread yourself too thin, especially during the holidays. It's fine to make cupcakes for the school but do it with your child. And staying home for a night of reading Christmas books or watching movies may be a lot more meaningful to your family than a flurry of parties or caroling.
- Be cool parents.
Creating a welcoming space for your kids and their friends is one of the smartest things you can do, so install a basketball goal and stock up on board and video games and healthy snacks. “As your kids get older, they tend to befriend others with similar values and interests,
- Celebrate your history.
Sharing details from your family tree will help your kids feel like they belong to something greater than themselves and make them feel more grounded If your kids don't have the opportunity to talk to their grandparents, look through old photo albums with them and share family memories and stories.
- Put the romance back into your life.
The usual dinner-and-a-movie date, it turns out, doesn't serve married couples very well. It gives you a chance to reconnect or, at least, conduct an uninterrupted conversation. If what you want from date night is a way to fall in love all over again, though, Saturday night after Saturday night at the movies has nothing to offer you, research says.