When you think about the things that constitute a happy family, you may think of things such as having a lot of money so that you can give your kids all of the things that they want. Some people may think of their favorite television sitcom family that rarely fights, but when they do have disagreements, it is resolved by the end of the show. Unfortunately, that is not the reality in most of our lives. However, building a healthy family is not unattainable. Here are a few things that you can do to build a strong foundation to your family structure.
1. Be Affectionate, Warm, and Encouraging
It’s hard to stay positive when the only feedback that you receive is negative feedback. That doesn’t mean that the things that you do well are not noticed but it is not acknowledged. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and no matter how happy they may seem, even the lightest heart needs some encouragement.
You will find that as the kids get older, they will go from one extreme to the other from being extremely clingy to being indifferent. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want or wouldn’t welcome the affection. As parents, we need to give them the extra direction when we see our children making bad decisions or veering the wrong way in life. Just as we are quick to give that nudge, we have to be just as willing to offer our encouragement and warmth.
Overall, everyone in the family should collectively work to be approachable, encouraging to others in the family, and willing to accept and give affection to the most important people in our lives. Everyone needs a hug sometimes.
2. Communication is Key
One of the most important parts of building a strong family foundation is being able to communicate with everyone. In the heat of an argument, many people are guilty of saying things that they wish they hadn’t later. Those words cannot be taken back. In fact, the marks that those words leave may never go away. Many of these kinds of disagreements are the result of holding things in for so long that one small thing may lead to a blow up.
When there is a disagreement among members of the family, it is important to deal with it immediately. You need to be able to sit down and discuss the issues without blaming, screaming, and yelling. In the case of children, sometimes a parent or an older sibling should sit down with the two and act as a mediator.
Parents usually set the example of how disputes are resolved in the home. If the children live in a home where parental disputes are loud, full of expletive language, and even physical, they will grow to resolve their issues the same way. The adults of the family also need to be able to sit down and discuss the issues in a mature fashion.
Another thing to remember about communication and conflict resolution is that there is nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree. Not everyone is going to see eye to eye on every issue.
A weekly or monthly family meeting is a great way to keep the lines of communication open.