Our interpretation of ‘family’ has shifted over the past few decades to include individual parent, queer and blended families as well as the traditionally popular family structure of two parents with their children living together.
Numerous studies worldwide have shown that happy families, whatever their arrangement, have certain traits in common. It will be worthwhile to assess the dynamics of a family occasionally to ensure the happiness of one and all within a family.
Typically, when we consider families, the traditional nuclear and extended family who are biologically related occurs to our mind. No matter, a family can be made up of anyone a person admits to being their family.
A family shares common values, goals, and responsibilities along with deep emotional bonds. Family members, especially from a happy family contribute significantly towards each other well being and hence live healthy and hearty.
What Is A Happy Family?
As every family and each person in it are different, there’s no magical one-size-fits-all parenting method that’s guaranteed to bestow one a healthy and happy family. And since nobody is flawless in this fallen world, there’s no such thing as an ideal family.
But there are some central principles that will help one in creating a family where each member can grow spiritually, emotionally, and relation wise – which will help them build the healthy, happy family they truly desired to enjoy.
Probably a literal truth is that happy families too have cranky kids, messy houses, and money struggles, just like every other family. But beneath it all, they have a heart of satisfaction that supports them through the whole of life’s ups and downs.
Being happy as a family is something profound than just having fun together or feeling the instant euphoria of a joyous event like firing crackers on a Diwali night or opening presents on a Christmas morning.
So, a happy family is a family that has a deep-rooted sense of meaning and purpose to their lives.
When one can have that, the lows feel more amenable, and the highs become more significant. At that, the keys to building a budding family life that will make everyone in the family truly happy are:
1. Happy Families…Remember Who They Are
When a family agrees on its core values — and consistently abides by those standards — then one can build a stronger family identity that is free of conflict.
Certain values fall into place naturally; if one is married, then they are committed to their partner in the first place because of the common values that both of them share.
However, one need not simply let their values evolve on their own, but instead consciously shaping and naming their core principles.
Defining the values together cannot only strengthen a lot of qualities of a loving family that brought them together, but it can also help them to steer in times when they feel opposed.
2. Happy Families… Know When To Lean On Others
At times, even for a happy family, happiness is not all the time guaranteed unless they make moves to earn the support of other families in their community, religion or society.
Similarly, pulling together to help other families can also bring one’s family closer.
No family flourishes in a bubble — the spread of relatives, friends, neighbors, and other networks are also crucial to their happiness.
There are families who expose their kids to new ideas and lifestyles that give them a larger view of their roles in their own family as well as in their community.
3. Happy Families…Know How To Be Resilient
Truly happy families have the resiliency to withstand life’s challenges and be strong. Going through turbulent times can actually make one feel more coherent as a family. But what can one do to maximize their family’s ability to digest big blows?
One should try and find joy in everyone’s life by often celebrating even small things. Active routines and rituals also better families regain their poise when calamity strikes.
4. Happy Families…Take A Breather
Families do better when they can enjoy a lot of laid-back moments together. Whether one is going for a walk, making cookies, playing their favorite Rock Band, or simply hanging out, the best way to develop happy family connections is to totally enjoy one another spontaneously.
One can spend their whole life-defining their goals, setting values, and putting all the right things into position, but it is also necessary to take a step back and live a little.
The active way to do is by setting apart time for unorganized fun and breathe out the work-life stresses. One must plan ahead for family time; failing which it will be too easy to get hooked up with everything else.
Ultimately, it is about staying together as a family and then achieve than utterly aiming for things by forsaking family needs which can turn out to be a sure-shot recipe for making an unhappy family.
Signs You Have A Happy Family
A mother craves to create and foster a happy family even if she does not have an ‘upper’ hand in her family. But if one’s childhood wasn’t so bright, how can one know what that it looks like to have a happy, healthy family?
And even if they had a happy upbringing, it’s not always simple to define what, exactly made one’s family life happy. Was it the goofy games one played on road trips or the freedom they had to walk in and out of their neighbors’ yards?
Or was it that one had such good fortune never to experience any major tragedy, or was it that they had a close-knit clan that pulled together to support one another no matter what calamity came their way?
Most importantly, how can one make sure that the family one has today will be happy for the long haul? What are the signs for a happy family that one should genuinely watch out?
Here are some vital signs that can help in having a happy cum healthy family:
Families gain from open two-way communication that is understanding, loving, and patient. Suggestions for good communication within the family include:
- Being honest with each other
- Listening to each other with full attention
- Reassuring one another of their love with words, cuddles and giving time for each other
- Sharing everyone’s thoughts and feelings without censuring or criticizing each other
- Encouraging and motivating positive behavior
- Working hand-in-hand in solving problems and conflicts
- Laughing and merry-making together.
Better suggestions for happy families who do share activities with one another include:
- Share time en masse
- Make dinnertime an opportunity for roundtable family discussions
- Go on regular family outings and play together
- Count on holidays and big family ‘traditions’ that cater to the entire family.
Children need to be included in some of the decision making within the family if they are to feel like a valuable family member. Happy families experience a spirit of togetherness. This includes:
- Sharing a common sense of belonging
- Sharing beliefs that indeed matter
- Enjoying the place we call home
- Rejoicing together and sharing precious memories.
Happy families show their concern for each other in a variety of ways, that embrace:
- Informing other family members how they feel about them
- Showing their love for one another and respecting each other’s feelings
- Caring and Doing things for the other.
Families are composed of different individuals with diverse needs and, sometimes, even contradictory values and beliefs. Happy families are able to show acceptance of these personal differences by:
- Accepting the differences
- Giving each other space
- Respecting each other’s points of view
- Being able to forgive each other
- Each one is responsible on their own.
Happy families have a true commitment towards each other, which is displayed through:
- Feeling safe and secure with each other
- Trusting one another
- Fulfilling promises
- Doing things for the community.
Happy families prove their resilience through:
- Talking things through and switching plans when needed
- Learning from the tough times while giving hope to one another
- Approaching and solving problems mutually.
Signs Of Unhappy Families
Families that don’t run as well as they could have some common traits, including:
- Unfair power distribution where one parent rules the entire household
- Difficulties with having conflict negotiation in a peaceful ambiance
- Lack of mutual respect
- Refusing to approve or accept other’s viewpoint
- An inclination to rely on negative forms of communication like yelling, criticizing or sulking
- The practice of physical punishment like smacking or hitting, as the primary form of discipline.
Families that function well have certain traits in common. It is useful to look at one’s family dynamics and identify areas that need a little work. Unhappy families can benefit from professional help as well.
Ways Happy Families Help Your Health
Past family holidays serve as a happy reminder of how meaningful and fulfilling it is to spend time with family, whether it’s with one’s children, parents, or cousins that one may have temporarily forgot existed.
Shared meals and work, can reignite lost bonds throughout the working year. Fortunately, these bonds can persist longer with a little effort, and also cause mutually beneficial health benefits!
Making Time For Family Can Reduce Stress
If one finds their mind is continually banging back and forth between commitments to their work and to their family, there’s a good chance they are undergoing some stress.
A study from Oregon State University confirmed that repetitive thought on the frictions between work and family life impacts one’s:
- Life satisfaction
- Positive/Negative affect
- Health conditions.
For people whose jobs and careers have stringent demands, there are ways to find time in their already hectic schedule. Just like any other activity, it’s about budgeting time, making plans, and changing one’s environment to inspire success in their efforts.
Relationships With Family Members Decrease The Possibility Of Deaths
It must not come as a surprise if one’s friends, aka, the family we choose don’t have as much an impact on one’s likelihood of death than our very own family.
Research says that older adults who had friendlier, more strong relationships with their families had a 6% chances of death within the next four years than those who weren’t close had more than twice the rate of mortality at 14%.
Factors most connected with a shortened mortality risk were:
- Being married
- Bigger network size
- Larger social participation
- Feeling close to confidantes
Nonetheless, its found that marriage, regardless of its quality, was seen to produce the most positive effects on longevity. Despite tough to get along with family at times, having strong bonds with one’s loved ones can have a positive impact on one’s health.
Family Impacts Your Heart Health
Cardiovascular collapse is one of Australia’s greatest killers, so any steps one can take to enhance and influence their and their family’s heart health can be deemed worthwhile.
In a reveal that shocks no-one, the family attitude towards health and diet influences everyone in the family. Where families prepare for their time together to have proper meals and physical activity, it plays a role in building the family’s values.
Things Happy Families Do Differently
Happy families do things tad differently. They are happier in the first place because they live intentionally and exercise positive habits that impact lifelong values into their children.
It doesn’t mean everything is flawless, but their habits cause the difference and the good outruns the bad.
Of course, not all families can be happy all the time, but with a few small hints can help one along the way most of the time. Here are the following things Happy Families do differently:
1. Happy Families Have Family Customs – Everyone nowadays are so busy with tasks and activities that families find lucky to give away time to spend even a few hours per week together.
So, now more than ever, it’s necessary to set aside a time for the entire family just to come together doing things uniformly every week, every month, and on holidays to create lifelong memories as well as family traditions like having a simple family breakfast on Sunday mornings, gaming on Friday nights, an outdoor hike on the weekends, baking a family recipe, celebrating festivals or family functions together and the list of family characteristics goes on.
2. Happy Families Are Giving – There’s nothing more satisfying than giving back to those in need. It’s necessary to give often and enable the children to personally donate as well.
Giving back as a family only elaborates one’s positive gesture. It embraces the family while also teaching children about sharing and doing good for others. There are so many different things that one can do in this endeavor like volunteering, donating, charity, giving back to society, etc.
3. Happy Families Are Happy-Go-Lucky! – So many families nearly miss out on the simple joys of life, because they think they have a bucket load of other things they need to worry about.
However, Happy families differ in this aspect also as they don’t stress and strain through things, rather they plan and act on time.
When a less than pleasing situation occurs they deal with it instantly and calmly. They don’t let little things upset into big things and also they feel appreciated for the love and beauty present in their life. Happy families might still get “busy” with school, work, hobbies, and other activities, but they make the most of life as they created it.