A while back, a book called The Happiest Baby on the Block got a lot of attention. The title got me thinking about what it would take to be the happiest family on the block.
And, yes, we all know that no family can be happy all of the time, but having a vision of your family as a truly happy family most of the time, is something worth thinking about.
Here are the 5 Ways to Be the Happiest Family on the Block. And even though they’re no guarantee, they’re a good place start.
Spend time together.
It’s easier to be the happiest family on the block when you spend time together! So grab those opportunities when you can. If there aren’t enough of them, plan them.
I talked here about how I am working to get my family to do more little things together. Of course, when you can, work in a family vacation here and there. Studies show that adults remember family vacations more than just about any other things (gifts, the quality of the furniture in their house, the car their parents drove).
Finally, consider cutting back on extra stuff. Last year, my son was in travel baseball and my daughter was in travel volleyball. That did not make for much family time. This year, we weren’t doing those things and the family time increased dramatically. It was wonderful!
To fit in even more family time, drop what you’re doing when the kids and your husband are all watching TV and join them. And even if your husband comes home late and the rest of you have eaten, sit at the table together when he’s eating.
Make family time conflict-free.
If all of your time together is filled with the tension of you and your husband bickering or your kids disobeying, regroup. Talk to your husband about setting aside disagreements during family time. And if you need to work on getting your kids to obey, so you don’t have long drawn out battles when you are together, take a look at this.
But don’t be too hard on yourself, even the happiest families have conflict. It’s how we handle conflict that contributes to our level of family happiness.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, even the happiest families have conflict. It’s how we handle conflict that contributes to our level of family happiness.
Make birthdays, anniversaries, and accomplishments a big deal. Also your children will feel more invested in the lives of their siblings if they help you pick out the gift they’ll be sharing with their brother or sister. You can also let them write a card and present the gift.
Come up with family traditions for your celebrations. Have sparkling grape juice at every birthday and toast the guest of honor. Consider coming up with your own traditions – like creating a family holiday.
Keep it real.
Do your children understand what’s important to you and your husband? Do they know what your family stands for and believes? Focus on the things that bring long term happiness to your family and to your children’s future lives – your faith, kindness in daily life, focusing on people not things.
One day, I wrote out a quick list of things I believe. I plan on adding my husband’s ideas to the list and then sharing them with our children.
Here is my first draft:
What I Believe…
God has no limits.
Go for it. You’ll never know unless you try.
Follow your passion, but get a college degree so you can support yourself.
Dad and I will support you in whatever you want to do as long as it’s not harmful to you physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
Financial security = Freedom. Freedom to choose a job you love, not just based on how much it pays. Freedom to travel and explore things you love. Freedom to live where you want. Freedom to help others when God places needs in front of you. Freedom to brighten others’ days by being able to help them.
You are blessed. Be a blessing.
Manage your marriage.
When our marriages are strong, our families are strong. You and your husband are what your children think of when they think of family. Do all you can to make your marriage peaceful, loving, and strong.
Look at these 8 Ways to Take a Stand for Your Marriage.
So what do you think? Can you see these things helping you to be a happier family? Let me know!