Having a Healthy and Happy Family
All families are unique and come in all shapes and sizes, with different needs and circumstances. For most individuals, the family environment and family relationships have the biggest impact on life outcomes. Positive family relationships can help children and young people flourish. Research shows the quality of family relationships is more important than their size or composition. Families, no matter what they look like, can build strong, positive relationships that promote wellbeing and support children and young people’s mental health. Many children today sit too much and don’t move enough. They’re often tempted by less than healthy foods and technology overpowers their lives. As parents, you’re aware of these problems and eager to find alternatives. Encouraging your kids to be more active and health conscious doesn’t have to be complicated and can even be fun. Family activities are an excellent way to get everyone involved and spend quality family time together.
Families often share common goals and work together to reach those goals. For example, children may help do the dishes after the parents have cooked dinner so everyone can relax. As adults, our difficult or stressful life situations can provide learning opportunities in teaching and modeling coping strategies; children shouldn’t be burdened with stress, but it can be helpful for them to see their families successfully managing with positive coping strategies.
Some key qualities of a strong family unit involve communication, togetherness, support, acceptance, commitment and resilience. With our busy day-to-day lives, it can be difficult to make time for anything “extra”, so finding ways to make time for family fun can be helpful in incorporating these key qualities.
Ideas for healthy quality family time:
Have dinner outside
Go for a family bike ride
Plan a family game night
Schedule technology free time
Plan meals together
Create a family contest
Try to organize time together at least three times a week. This will give you all a chance to connect and talk about important issues as well as more fun topics. Ask your children to help you with the chores or to run errands with you. While they may protest, they will be spending time with you and feel more involved.
Balancing Work and Home Life
Balancing work and home life is not always easy but how you manage it can make a big difference to your family relationships. Working in a way which fits around family commitments can boost self-esteem because you’re not always worrying about neglecting your responsibilities in any area, helping you feel more in control of your life.
Parents often spend their time looking after everyone else in the family and put themselves on the back burner. If you don’t take time for yourself, you can end up feeling resentful and won’t be able to give others the support they need. Admit to yourself that you have feelings and needs too. It’s not selfish to put some time aside for YOU!