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Healthy Family Relationships Are What Every Family Member Longs For

Healthy family relationships have to be cultivated. They don’t appear magically. Some families seem to have the harmony secret, while others flounder in dysfunction and unhappiness. Your family is a significant part of your life because it builds the foundation of your values, culture, beliefs, and morals. It’s possibly the biggest influence in your life. As such, it matters a lot that a family is happy and functional with its members having a harmonious relationship with one another.  

Studies show that kids who come from harmonious families tend to grow to be proper, successful, and morally conscious adults in society. On the other hand, those from dysfunctional families are more prone to mental health issues and personal problems. Thus, it’s generally believed that people should be exposed to healthy familial relationships as early as possible. 

A healthy family doesn’t mean having a perfect family. It simply means that members trust, love, support, respect, and confide in each other. 

Here are 9 Tips To Create Lasting Healthy Family Relationships

Spend Quality Time Together  (Have Meals Together)

Family psychologists and experts believe that quality time boosts the self-confidence and self-esteem of members of the family. It also gives them a sense of belongingness and community. Children, teens, and young adults all need a strong foundation of familial love. And that could be achieved by having meaningful conversations and spending quality time together. One of the best ways to have quality time is to share meals, at least one a day where the whole family can get together and share the joy of eating.

Quality time doesn’t have to be lavish or expensive. It’s more about building a connection with each other. You can do simple things together such as watching a movie, doing grocery shopping, baking cookies, going on a stroll or a road trip, camping, or sitting down for a meal without the distraction of electronic devices.  

The importance of spending quality time with your family cannot be overstated. This encourages family members to be closer and to open up to each other. It also gives you a chance to know what your children are going through. You can help your children process disappointments, wrong decisions, and other issues they may be struggling with. 

However, if you feel that you’re not equipped to deal with your child’s emotional issues, consider reaching out to licensed professionals at Portneuf Valley Family Center to provide counseling and helpful intervention measures. 

Communicate Well

What does it mean to communicate well? There are several parts to healthy communication. Being able to safely say what’s on your mind and share your feelings is one part. It’s okay for you to have different opinions. If your family can’t listen or shames you, there’s no way to have healthy communication or happy family members. Active listening is another crucial component. Being able to listen to the feelings of others without interrupting or having to have the last word.

Healthy communication is more than having conversations; it’s being emotionally available for one another. Family members should rely on each other for support. Communicating effectively also leads to a better understanding of each other’s feelings and being sensitive to each other’s needs. 

One way to communicate effectively is  to use with positive affirmations.  Saying things such as ‘good job,’ ‘well-done,’ or ‘great’ encourages good behavior, combats negative thoughts, and boosts everyone’s self-esteem. 

It’s also important to practice positive nonverbal communication such as hugging, kissing, smiling, or even laughing together. It also improves empathy not only within the family but also outside it. Furthermore, it promotes emotional awareness, which helps them to read situations better and respond accordingly. 

Create Rules And Boundaries

What is okay behavior and what shouldn’t be allowed. This is important for everyone’s comfort and groth. As in society, rules are important in a family. You should create rules to help your children know what behaviors are acceptable and not acceptable. Rules shouldn’t be too restrictive or imposing especially for little children, but they should serve as a guide for acceptable behavior.

For family rules to be effective, you should implement them consistently. Everybody needs to have a clear understanding of the rules and be expected to follow them. No family member should be exempt from a rule because it’s confusing.

When your child breaks a rule, you should explain the consequence and why they matter. This serves to reinforce the importance of rules.  Your children also learn the value of discipline, which would help them follow laws and other rules in society when they become adults. 

Learn to Settle Differences (Conflict Resolution)

Disagreements are inevitable. No matter how happy and harmonious families are, arguments are going to happen. It’s normal to have differences of opinion because after all, the members of your family are unique individuals. 

Conflict resolution is the way to allow all sides to be heard without creating a world war. No one has to win, and this is important as a life skill. How to do it? In the heat of an argument, stay calm and not let your emotions get the best of you. Refrain from interrupting when a family member is trying to explain his side. Instead, listen attentively to what he has to say. Show respect for the other person’s opinion and be open to negotiation.  

Settling differences doesn’t always mean reaching a consensus. It’s mainly about being able to ‘agree to disagree’ without judgment. Sometimes, a compromise or finding a middle ground is the only solution. 

Be Impartial

Being impartial means being fair and not showing favoritism. The perception of not being the favorite can hurt your child’s self-esteem. Favoritism comes in many forms such as favoring one child over the other or one sibling over the other. Even children sometimes prefer one parent over the other. 

You need to practice objectivity even in small things to keep your child from feeling insignificant, unworthy, or not good enough. Conversely, train your children to be objective such as not picking sides or giving hasty judgments. 

Moreover, you should always be mindful of what you say or do. You should let go of unconscious biases that are almost second nature to you but actually hurt your children. These biases come in many forms such as who gets the better room, who gets more attention, and so on. 

Even simple biases in the family, if unaddressed, could lead to animosity in the future. Your children could easily feel favoritism even at a young age. So, make an effort to practice fairness early on. 

Encourage Independence

A family that depends on one another is great. But too much dependence could also be harmful in the long run. 

Encourage independence within your family. Its importance is often overlooked by many but independence is essential for an individual to be emotionally, mentally, and financially independent. 

Teach your children to be independent by letting them do simple things by themselves. Also, let them decide on things they want to do and don’t want to do. With this, they eventually grow into independent adults who can stand on their own feet. 

A person who’s too dependent on his family for all his needs can be draining for everyone else. This can be avoided by molding children to become strong-minded and independent adults.

Lead By Example

Children look up to you and copy everything they see and hear, consciously or unconsciously. This is the reason it’s so important to set a good example for your children. 

You need to practice the values that you teach. As they say, you should walk the talk. Modeling good values such as being hardworking, respectful, polite, or patient will help instill them in your children. 

If they see you shouting, breaking things, cursing, or being violent when you’re angry, there is no question they will copy this behavior all their lives as they have not seen any other way to express negative feelings and frustrations.

Choose To Forgive

Sometimes simple disagreements and differences fester into bitter grudges and resentments, creating a barrier between you and your loved loves. Sadly, the situation could get worse if your attempt to patch things up falls short and ends up further widening the rift between you. 

When issues and disputes are ignored or neglected, they becomes harder to resolve as the hurt becomes deeper. So, it’s best to resolve conflicts soon after tempers have cooled. The right timing is essential but don’t wait too long. 

The first step is to talk it out. Talk about what happened and why you feel the way you do. Be honest but never brutal if someone has hurt you. If you have hurt someone you love, apologize in a genuine way. Allow some time for your wor to sink in before you apologize specifically for how you’ve also hurt them. In a quarrel, forgiveness should be a two-way street. Let go of the hurt and forgive. 

Engage With the Community

Community engagement could also help foster a healthy family relationship. It enables your family members to feel a sense of community outside the family. It helps them realize that they are part of something bigger than the family. 

Doing things together for the community allows your family members to find their purpose. Attending charity events, going to church, or participating in clean-up drives are ways of engaging with the community. These can also serve as a team-building activity that builds camaraderie among the members of the community along with your family.  

Final Thoughts

Having healthy relationships in your family brings out the best in everyone. Your home becomes a safe place where members love, trust, support, and respect each other’s individuality, opinions, and boundaries.  This also enables your family to work together as a team, valuing each other, giving support, and working out solutions to problems.  

However, having healthy and harmonious relationships in your family entails effort and commitment from everyone. It takes effort to follow rules or to be constantly mindful of your words, actions, and attitudes. It’s all worth it though as you see your children grow into confident and well-balanced individuals capable of building healthy family relationships of their own in the future. 

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