5 ways to create a happy home
As many of us head for the halfway mark of the summer holidays, homes up and down the country are feeling the strain. Whilst summer holidays can feel like requiring the skills of a UN peacekeeper, creating a calm and happy household doesn't have to feel quite so challenging.
Here are five things you can do now to create domestic bliss for you and your family.
1. Examine your parenting beliefs
It is common for your parenting beliefs to be inherited from your parents, this includes the good, the bad and the downright unhelpful. Ever catch yourself muttering something and wonder when you turned into your mother or father? A parenting mental audit is a great way to start clearing away the beliefs that don't serve you and your family, particularly in modern times. Whilst changing a belief can sound like a daunting task, it's good to remember that a belief is only a thought that is repeated and repeated until it becomes ingrained and unquestioned. You merely need to change your thought to change the belief, so find a new thought and repeat and repeat…..
2. Have clear boundaries
If your boss changed the goal posts every day at work, how would you know where you stood? It's no different for children and their home environment. Clear setting of age appropriate boundaries is a great way to ensure everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet, including the parents. Will your children push the boundaries? You'd be surprised if they didn't, however talking through the reasoning behind the rule (eg safety, health, wellbeing etc) is a great way of creating a deeper understanding for your children rather than ‘because I said so’.
3. Have open and honest communication
By starting open and honest communication with your children, and allowing them a safe space to talk honestly and openly, you will set them up to be effective communicators, and value the power of words rather than having to resort to rebellious actions. As they hit adolescence you will love the rewards that reaps.
4. Have a culture of respect
Respect is a two way street. For your children to have respect for you, you need to be setting them a good example. How do they see you treating each other as parents? Do they see you interacting with others? A client once commented to me about her son's disrespect for females and her confusion at where it had come from, but had spent the previous sessions talking through her husband's chauvinistic behaviour.
5. Spend quality time together (often)
Quality time together can be a rarity but why not introduce it into your family schedule? If weekends are often manic, think about making time for games nights (nothing gets a family together like board games or card games), movie nights, homemade pizza night or just getting together over a relaxed family meal.
Talk, laugh and practice all of the above. Doesn't that feel a lot more chilled?
I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how you are creating your own happy home.