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FAMILY: Members, Relatives, Kids and Pets

Let’s evaluate this area of your family members. This includes relationships with relatives, kids and pets. A family unit is important and often causes issues.

Ok, so you can’t always choose your family, I get that, especially the relatives and distant relations we sometimes try to avoid. However, the family unit is what you make of it. Yes, we know how chaotic it can be at times, yet there are precious moments when it all does just seem to work.

Family life should be full of fun and for some cultures that seems so easy. For the rest of us there are several considerations to make it work. Like the reality of living with very different personalities and of course the changing moods, this is where empathy is required.

The simple version of creating a harmonious and fun family environment can be summed in just three words. Recognition; Respect and Appreciation. That’s it! These are common human desires in all of us and especially so within the family unit. Practice these for each other and the family will bond well. Throw in some common activities and fun and you have a recipe for an improved family life.

Here are a few others to try:

  •  Quality time, Whether it be one-on-one or a family activity the most critical point is total presence and attention. No distractions allowed. Nothing kills the moment more than checking a phone messages or taking a call. Just give your total attention and presence for that moment.
  • Positive talk, No family member has the right to be condescending or negative toward each other including parents. Always make it an unbreakable rule for the right choice of words to be used . No exception. The Power of Words is just that…powerful!
  • Teamwork, Working together as one to achieve a functional household should be a common goal. This means sharing chores, working together to solve problems, and even having family meetings. Create family-rules to clearly state which behaviour is expected and the consequences if not applied.
  • The 3 R’s, Recognition; Respect and Appreciation. As mentioned, these are so powerful and fundamental to getting along with others. So simple, yet so often not applied.
  • Marriage first, Remember marriage first. Families that put their kids first often end up being dysfunctional. Parents should set a real example of love. This is part of being a good role model for the children. Parents committed love for each other should be on display at all times.
  • Break bread together, Eating together at a table should become a common event to be shared and enjoyed. Two things not permitted on the dinner table are 1/ Elbows and 2/ Mobile devices. Let’s get back to old fashion face-to-face conversation.
  • Be flexible, Families go through change, this is inevitable. How you react to these changes is optional. Kids grow up, pets die, someone gets married and teenagers are…what teenagers do. Get over it and remember you never stop being a parent no matter how old you are. They are still family.