by Ashley Corbaley
“All happy families are alike.” –Leo Tolstoy
What does it mean that happy families are all alike? What makes a happy family? Parenting author, Charlotte Latvala shares six secrets for a happy family:
Traditions do not have to be grand to be meaningful. Richard Eyre the coauthor of The Happy Family: Restoring the 11 Essential Elements that Make Families Work, said: “Traditions give children a sense of identity and belonging. They may seem insignificant to adults, but kids hang on to them.”
Growing up we always had pancakes on Saturday morning. This simple tradition was something that I looked forward too and look back on with fondness. It is never too early or too late to begin new traditions in your own family. Start by thinking of what everyone in the family likes to do and make it a habit. No matter how small, traditions have the potential to be the source of several wonderful family memories for years to come.
The benefits of sitting around a table and eating at least four meals together a week is truly remarkable. Family mealtime can be a place of meaningful conversation and special bonding time between family members. Eating together may be challenging, but however you do it, it is sure to be worth every effort.
What does your family like to do together? Whether it be traveling the world, playing board games, skiing or riding bikes in the park, choose something the whole family can enjoy and do it! I have wonderful memories of playing board games with my family growing up. Now I play board games with my husband and we have a great time together.
Lift Each other Up
No matter what happens during the day, when we come home to our family we should feel safe and loved. With so many others in the world looking to put us down, members of our family should be the ones that are the best at lifting us up. Go out of your way to compliment, inspire and cheer up members of your family. As we strive to lift each other up, we will find that we will become happier ourselves.
Look for Laughter
There are many reasons to laugh in this life, so find them! Laughter truly is the best medicine. Take the time to joke, be silly and have fun with your family. Look for a reason to smile even on your bad days and always be willing to turn frowns of family members upside down when they need it most.
If we make the effort to create traditions, eat together, play together, lift each other up and look for laughter our families have the capability to become happier.
I think Leo Tolstoy had it right when he said that all happy families are alike. Families throughout the world may be in several shapes and sizes but the recipe for happy families can yield the same outcome for all.