An interesting study about how to thrive as a family came out recently in BYU Magazine.
After 6 years of research and data from 700 families, The Families that Flourish Project discovered these crucial principles for a happy family:
• Freely forgive. Let go of hurts quickly and check in with your spouse and children about whether they see you as forgiving.
• Be kind. Be patient, speak kindly, and assume good motives in other family members.
• Be committed. Speak and act in ways that show your family you’re in it for the long haul.
• Be willing to sacrifice. Understand that your way isn’t always the best way, and you might have to give up things you want or need for the greater good of your family.
• Don’t be relationally aggressive. Don’t talk badly about each other to other people, don’t use the silent treatment, and don’t dismiss another family member’s feelings.
That ought to give you a few things to work on. But there’s more. After the jump, 3 more specific practices you can implement with your family this week.
1. Create Traditions–You’ve heard it before: Routines, family dinners, rituals and annual traditions are the glue that stick your family together. BUT simply going through the motions habitually can do more harm than good. The trick is to do things together that you actually like.
2. Invite Grandma–Inter-generational ties are good for children. Help your kids have meaningful relationships with older relatives and friends. Write letters, send texts, call, or visit. It’s worth the effort.
3. Text Your Kids–Exploit technology to bring your family closer together. Battle isolationism with funny texts, play Words With Friends with your kids, praise your children on Facebook and play video games with your family. Girls, especially, benefit when parents play games with them.
We make efforts to exercise, eat healthier, figure out how Benedict Cumberbatch jumped to his “death” in Sherlock. May as well invest a little effort to make everyday life with your kids a little happier.