Two ingredients for a Happy Family: low stress and ongoing co-creation

Happy familiesDo you want a happy Family? What are the magic ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, functioning, actually happy?

With Christmas around the corner, the focus is on families. I am definitely keen in creating the basis for a happy family myself and that is why I read this very interesting book: The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler.  I, hereby, share two of the main ingredients I took out from this book.

  • Reduce your stress levels, your kids (and you) will be happier. I love the last add by Ikea Spain about what kids really want for Christmas. Have a look if you don’t know it yet.

    I am sure your family is key in your life. A 2010 Pew study found that three-quarters of adults said their family was the most important element of their lives; the same number said they were “very satisfied” with their family life, and eight in ten said the family they have today is as close or closer than the one they grew up in. that is the good news. Now, here is the bad news: Almost everyone feels completely overwhelmed by the pace and pressures of daily life, and that exhaustion is exacting an enormous toll on family wellbeing. Survey after survey shows that parents and children both list stress as their number one concern. This includes stress inside as well as outside the home. And if parents feel harried, it trickles down to their children. Many studies have shown the negative effects of parental stress on children in many aspects from obesity to teeth. But In a survey of a thousand families, Ellen Galinsky, the head of the Families and work institute and the author of Mind in the Making, asked children: “If you were granted one wish about your parents, what would it be? Most parents predicted their kids would say spending more time with them. They were wrong. The kids’ number one wish was that their parents were less tired and less stressed. So, what do you do to control your stress levels at home in order to be with your kids?

  • Train your flexibility and capacity to adapt to change by co-creating the family you love. The nature of a family is to change. The author shows that a family needs working to improve as does your garden, your hobbies, and your job. A family requires reflection and work in order to improve and as parents we need to initiate this job and involve the kids. And what about using family dinner as a reference for those exchanges? What about co creating a family mission statement? What are the benefits of involving your kids about what they like about their family? What are the values they identify most with?
  •  The good news is that we are free to create the family we want but the question is: How much time do we invest in thinking about how to do it effectively?

     So, here is my proposal for this end of the year. What about investing time relaxing and co-creating the type of family we want to be in 2015? I wish you a Merry Christmas!

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