Feb 26, 2019

Happiness is measured in a variety of ways, and what makes your family overjoyed may not work for the family next door. Still, there are some basic tenets to keeping your family connected and strong. Without spending little money, if any, these tips and tricks will help set your family up for happiness in the long run.

1. Unplug

Spend at least one day a week unplugged from television, smartphones, tablets, and other online activities. Use this time to go for a hike, play games, or go on field trips as a family.

2. Have dinner together

Families that eat dinner together every night are more connected. Use this time to find out the best and worst part of each person’s day. Sharing during dinner time encourages happiness, in part because it applies some routine, and in part because it presents an opportunity to stay invested in each other’s daily lives.

3. Create traditions

Create some traditions that are unique to you family. Whether it is watching a certain movie on Christmas or making a favorite breakfast every Saturday morning, having your own traditions fosters the feeling of belonging to something special.

4. Find common hobbies

Even if your family is diverse, search for hobbies you can share together. Like common traditions, shared hobbies foster a sense of belonging, which leads to happiness. Doing things together that make you happy individually also help you feel happier as a group.

5. Celebrate special events together

Make every effort to celebrate special events together, from school plays to major holidays. Showing you care enough about each other to clear your schedule on special days will give your family happiness a boost.

6. Keep communication open

Keep the lines of communication open within your family. When one or more members of your clan feel isolated, it is hard to stay happy. Share your successes and failures with each other, and confront problems head on as they arise. Having disagreements might not sound very happy, but in fact it can hinder resentments from building.

7. Follow through on promises

Stick to the commitments you make to each other, both big and small. This builds trust in your familial relationships, which will also lead to happier interactions. When you say you will show up to a soccer match, make it a priority to be there. If you are running late, call and let someone know as a sign of respect.

8. Share responsibilities

Sticking one member of your family with all of the weekly chores or bill paying responsibilities may build resentment. Share the household responsibilities, so each family member is taking ownership of keeping your home clean and running smoothly.

9. Be inclusive

Make sure every member of your feels included in activities. It is better to extend an invitation and let someone decline than to neglect to invite him. When someone feels left out, hurt feelings can happen and your happiness is hindered.

10. Be open minded

Be open minded about your family. Even though you are related, you may have very different styles, hobbies, and friends. Do not make a family member feel bad just because they are a bit different from the rest of the pack in one area. Instead, accept each person as she is and let her know your love is unconditional.

Keeping everyone in your family happy at all times is a lofty goal. In fact, it is probably unrealistic. Still, you can make efforts to increase the overall level of contentment and happiness that thrives in your family. When in doubt, hold a family meeting and find out if something needs to change so that all members of your family feel included and valued. 

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