We all want to be happy and we all want our children to be happy, but in today’s busy world it is not always that straightforward. Here are 5 easy Parenting Tips you can try that will help move you closer to a happier family life:
- Share family Values: Do you know what is important to you as a family? Sit down together and define ‘what is important to this family’. Everyone must have the chance to give their view about what makes this family happy and fun to be in. Together choose your top 5 family values e.g. respect, fun, spending time together, eating together, no yelling, etc. This can lead towards setting up your “Household Rules”.
- Have weekly Family Meetings: Meet once a week and ask the following questions: What worked well this week?, What did not work so well this week?, and What do we need to work on next week?. You can also talk about: holidays, pocket money, celebrations etc. Enjoy a joint family reward when things go well eg: go to the park, visit the cinema, have movie night at home, go swimming etc.
- Deal with Sibling Fighting: Sibling fighting can seriously affect a family’s overall happiness. Firstly, split them up when fighting. Then ask each person ‘What happened here?’, and listen without judgement. Each has to offer 3 positive solutions. Bring them together to work on the solutions they both agree on. Or why not have a ‘fight corner’ and a ‘fight free zone’. If they fight, they have to go to the ‘fight corner / garden’, set clear boundaries eg: no hitting throwing objects etc. Once they are ‘done’ they can come out to the ‘fight free zones’.
- Eat Together: Kids who participate in a family meal daily have a larger vocabulary, better manners, healthier attitude to food and higher self-esteem. Eating together means that we spend at least 10 minutes of quality time together with no screens!
- Have Clear Screen Time Rules: Screen Time is something our parents didn’t have to deal with but we do, and it often ends in nagging, yelling, frustration and anger! So have clear agreements about when and how much screen time your child can have every day. It is recommended that you do not have screens on at least an hour before bedtime.
And Just Try! We might feel that family life can sometimes be hard, but don’t give up, keep trying to obtain the family life you want. Believe that you and your family deserve a happy family and that it IS possible. Sometimes TRYING is good enough, at least you can look in the mirror in the evening and say ‘at least I tried’!