Family members offer more support to us than just about anyone else in the world. Odds are, those who raised you are willing to help you in any way they can.
While family dynamics are as unique as the individuals themselves, most families strive to be healthy and functional. Humans desire love and sense of security, and who else can do that better than our families? We all want families we can trust. Being able to count on those closest to us resonates feelings of love and appreciation.
However, achieving a family environment that is happy, healthy, and loving this isn’t always so easy. And arguments and the occasional “head-butting” certainly occur in most families.
Your parents may be helping you through college, for example, but may still argue with you about financial situations such as getting a part time job while attending school. This could stem from many things such as guilt, miscommunication, or simply a bad day.
The thing is: it’s completely normal to have conflicts.
But what separates happy and unhappy family dynamics are the ways in which conflicts and arguments are handled, as well as the severity of arguments.
Achieving this level of happiness isn’t always easy. In fact, dissecting exactly why a family feels unhappy is quite the endeavor. Think about the following: how constant are conflicts? What about miscommunications and arguments over minor stuff?
The only way to be happy is to comprehend where sources of unhappiness lie.
It’s important to be conscious of these types of unhappy tendencies. This is an important first step.
When unhappy families start to really comprehend and adjust their lifestyles, everyone wins. Family members experiencing difficulties are more apt to reaching out in times of need if they are confident that their relatives will respond with love and compassion. Additionally, most day to day activities are easier and more enjoyable when we feel overall, happy.
Every family defines happiness differently.
It’s true that happy families are the closest families, but they are not all alike. This is because many family’s definitions of happiness differ. Some family groups require frequent dinners and rituals like game nights, and others are content with regular phone calls and the occasional family reunion.
Consider picking up a book on the subject of happiness! A relevant book, 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It gives a great deal of insight into family happiness.
An article by Time highlights the top 20 secrets from this book:
- Where you live does matter—the happiness of a community segues into family happiness.
- Open communication is a must for all families.
- Tell the family story—knowledge family history radiates happiness and family pride.
- To communicate values to kids, focus on closeness, not lectures.
- You’re a role model to kids—always keep that in mind.
- You must always be open to change.
- We love those who show love—make sure care and kindness are reciprocated.
- They need you to be positive, especially when times are tough.
- History beats apology—don’t be overly apologetic.
- Try to be fair, not right or correct.
- The secret to great work/life balance is a feeling of control—take charge of your work schedule if possible.
- Discussing tough subjects makes everything easier in the long run.
- Happiness is determined by what you think about most—try your best to focus on the positives and combat the negatives.
- Family rituals matter—sit down and have dinner together on the regular and plan activities you all enjoy!
- Kids that pick their activities enjoy school—if they are interested, let them play sports or in band or anything else.
- Separate your work and family life.
- Coping with in-laws is worth it.
- Pets help create more happiness.
- Kids need more than just mom and dad—all family members are important!
- Anyone can have a happy family—we are all capable of happiness if we are willing to work for it.
And to reiterate, planning family rituals and activities truly strengthens family bonds and creates a great deal of happiness. To strengthen the family bonding, plan quality time and fun things to do together.
Happiness can’t always be attained overnight. For some families it may be easy and others must make a conscious effort to change and become happier. The following resources will be very advantageous to your happiness and your family’s merriment.
Seek family counseling to radiate happiness in the family.
For families that are far from happy, the best solution is oftentimes through outsourced efforts of family counseling. It truly helps to have another person who is professionally trained weigh in and offer help and support.
Families around the world all find benefits from family counseling. This is a form of happiness “assistance.” These types of counseling services are fairly easy to access in places like the United States but must continue to progress across the globe. This is why family counseling and social work on a global scale are important. Every family deserves to be as happy as possible, and counselors and social workers are the key!
Communication, communication, communication!
One of the biggest pitfalls to happiness for families is miscommunication. Communication is an absolute must for all types of relationships to thrive, especially families. Family counselors also assist in communication efforts. A post by Wake Forest University elaborates:
“Without communication, one child’s emotional challenges can grow into a variety of behavioral problems that affect many more people than the individual; without an opportunity to express these feelings, contributing factors might never even be properly identified. Individual therapy often begins with the counselor helping the patient to increase self awareness.”
Counseling helps ensure that the voices of all members of a family are heard. Sometimes it’s harder than it should be to just listen to each other and communicate effectively. Fortunately, family counseling helps!
And take the following bits of advice to heart:
- To build strong family relationships, listen actively to each other.
- Use “I” messages rather than “You” messages when talking.
- Encourage all family members to share their thoughts and feelings.
- Strong families spend time together.
- Strong families handle their conflict fairly.
- Strong families develop trust.
What works best for you and your family? What do you and your family do to maintain and happy and healthy relationship? Share with us!
|||^||Lifehack: How to Create a Close Knit Family|
|||^||Lifehack: 7 Reasons You’re Unhappy With Your Financial Situation|
|||^||Psychology Today: Happy Families Are Not All Alike|
|||^||100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It|
|||^||Time: 20 Simple Secrets Of Happy Families – All Backed By Science|
|||^||Rawhide: 15 Ways to Strengthen Family Ties|
|||^||Case Western University Reserve: Social Work on a Global Scale|
|||^||Wake Forest University: How Family Counselors Teach Communication Skills|
|||^||University of Delaware: Building Strong Family Relationships|