What does it take to foster a happy family? None of us wants to spend our days with our children reprimanding them, sending to Time-Out, battling with them about following our rules or breaking up their fights. Yes, this is, unfortunately, part and parcel of the deal when it comes to raising children however beyond this, we all want to enjoy raising our children, to have happy family experiences, to have fun together and to build strong loving bonds. But how do we ensure that in the midst of all of the duties we have of maintaining a household, meeting our children’s basic needs and trying to raise responsible and respectable children, we still have those moments together?

A strong and happy family doesn’t just happen on their own. They practice certain strategies that help to build those important connections that help families to stay tuned, to relax and to enjoy happy moments together. No parent has all of the right answers all of the time but certain simple guidelines can help to make your time together with your family richer.

Dedicating some time each day will help you build a happy family

Many parents of young children find they are constantly busy, with their long list of duties to be done. Creating a strong, unified, and happy family seems unachievable.

If you are spending a great deal of your time rushing from doing one thing and then another and spending little time enjoying yourself or your children, try making a conscious effort to change your ways. Begin by first making a decision that having time to enjoy yourself and your family is a priority you want make. Then, decide that when you are with your children you are going to take a more relaxed or slowed-down approach – at least some of the time. And bring down your expectations of what you will get done. Weekends shouldn’t be only about requiring that you be here and there at a certain time, it should also be about making time to just hang around and be together. It does necessarily take a long time to connect with your family members. Play peek-a-boo with your baby and make funny faces that make her giggle. Help your toddler to make shapes with his Play-Doh. Sit down with your pre-school and help her with her puzzle. Be the sick patient for your child while he plays doctor. Or put some music on and dance together. Make sure to find activities that you enjoy too. You would be amazed at how beneficially spending only a few minutes together can be.

Focus on small cherished moments rather than eventful outings

Many parents are under the impression that in order to have fun or quality time together, they need to go on outings like going to the zoo, to see a show or other event. Children’s happiest memories, however, tend to be of doing the simple things in life like going to buy the groceries needed and baking together, playing around with a footy ball in the back yard and reading a story at bedtime.

Do chores together as a family

Even when children complain about the work they have to do, doing chores together can be really beneficial for families. Working and talking together while cleaning the house or washing the car creates a sense of achievement and connection. And playfulness does not have to be limited to play, particularly with young children. Young children can often find household tasks to be fun since they haven’t yet become aware of the notion that housework is mundane. Doing the dishes and folding laundry can be a fun activity for them. Take advantage of this by forgetting about how long a task may take or how efficiently it has to be done and focusing instead on creating valuable family time. Allow the task to take longer as your child draws on the window before cleaning it or plays with the bubble while washing the dishes. Working together as a family towards a common goal is enjoyable for kids. It helps them to feel valued for making a valuable contribution and it teaches them the important value of taking responsibility.

To learn more about Life Resolutions, visit: www.liferesolutions.com.au or call 1300 668 256 to book an appointment with one of our highly trained psychologists.