Family life is very important to our wellness and work performance. Try being effective at work if you show up with family burdens on your shoulders, if your children are sick or out of control, or if you and your partner are arguing at home.
There are unique challenges to raising a 21st century family such as:
- Feeling rushed with no time to communicate effectively.
- Feeling confused about what parenting tools to use.
- Over-parenting to compensate.
- Projecting what we want onto our children instead of honouring their uniqueness.
- Using fear and guilt to get them to cooperate. For example, did you know that “scaring” our children into eating well or making them feel guilty for eating junk food does more emotional harm than physical good?
These challenges have brought dysfunction into families; in some cases, family life has become toxic and a source of emotional stress and anxiety. As a result the family unit is breaking down, the emotional bond between parents and children is now rare and children cannot wait to “grow up” and “leave home”.
Here are 18 practical tips you can start using today to turn your family dynamic around.
- Remove TV from living areas.
- Do not use technology and television to keep your kids occupied. This is tantamount to neglect, that’s the hard truth. The damage of over-exposure to technology presents more harm than smoking.
- Put phones and tablets on charge and out of hands 90 minutes before bedtime.
- Don’t structure their play. Structure is a prison for the creative mind; innovators of the future think in a non-linear way.
- Teach them to swim.
- Allow them to get messy sometimes.
- Help them play dress-ups.
- Read to them and let them read to you.
- Share a hobby as they get older. This will keep you feeling connected.
- Have one-on-one alone time with each child once a week.
- Encourage them to ask questions. Asking questions without fear of ridicule is absolutely essential to keep their sense of curiosity.
- Go on school excursions with them as a guest parent. They will love it and research shows that children feel more confident at school when they see their parents there.
- Show them how to save money. This is an essential life skill that you need to lead by example; break your addiction to retail therapy.
- Get them to do chores around the house. This gives them a sense of self-worth. Praise them for completing the task but do not accept mediocrity either. If you want a certain standard, do the chore with them and show them that standard. They will know for next time.
- Visit grandparents and relatives together.
- Get them to help you cook.
- Spend time on Sunday nights and take turns to talk about what you did last week and/or what you’re going to do next week.
- Ask them daily: “What are you happy about?” “What are you excited about?” Ask yourself the same questions!
Want to learn more practical tips? Come listen to Carl Honoré and nine other leading global experts on how to upgrade your life and your family happiness.
What you will learn:
- You will learn the number one skill in parenting that can change your family dynamic instantly.
- You will learn how to get your children to make the right decisions in your absence, such as eating healthy food and controlling their use of technology and social media.
- You will learn to develop the concepts of “conscious parenting” and “slow parenting” and how to implement them.
- You will learn how to project unconditional love onto your children, this helps to reduce their anxieties about the inevitable failures and rejections.
- You will learn how and when to transition from being a parent to being a friend.
- You will also learn how to have fun with your children. Play is the language of children. You need to learn it.