By Sam Makhoul
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.
The biggest lie that most busy people tell themselves is that one day they will make enough money, slow down and have time for their family. The truth is that no one can ever be successful in life or business if they do not have the support and love of their family.
Have you ever noticed how the best and most successful athletes in the world always have their family in the crowd watching? Why?
It’s because the unconditional love and support of our family give us the courage to do and try anything without fearing failure and this is critical to our sense of security and order. The challenge of modern-day living has brought dysfunction into family life.
In some cases, family life has become toxic and a source of emotional stress and anxiety. Parents are struggling with pressure at work, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, financial pressure from over-consumption, and too much exposure to digital and social media.
Unique Challenges To Raising A 21st Century Family:
- 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”.
18 Practical Tips You Can Use To Change Your Family Dynamic:
- Remove the 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!