Have a Happier Family Now with Tips from Author Michelle Packard of ‘Family Ever After’
Thanks for this helpful guest post Michelle Packard. Check out her new book Family Ever After.
What makes a family happy now? The obvious answer according to my children is, “Millions of ways.” True, but who has time for that? They’re always excellent helpers with things like this. Out of the millions, here are my five.
1. Serve—pretty simple. A family that takes and takes will never be a happy unit. On an individual level do you give or do you take? Do you help to replenish your loved ones or sap them? How about your family as a whole? Do you have time to help other people or are you so consumed in your ball games, music lessons, education and work that justification of lack of service becomes essential. Serving others brings with it more compassion, more forgiveness, more love and more happiness for our families and us.
2. Show Respect—Our husbands are not women and our wives not men. Our brains are different, our ideas are different, our dreams are different, and it’s okay. We don’t need to be critical or spend our precious time belittling. It is the same with our children. Children deserve respect. Often we expect our kids to act like adults, but they aren’t adults. Their brains have not matured. They need to be needed and loved. Treat your loved ones like they are somebody special and you will all be happier.
3. Make Memories Now—When I was a little girl we didn’t have much money, but my parents did a great job creating family memories. We were able to enjoy the small moments. We were traditional about a pizza movie night, Waffle Sunday, and weekly soccer games in the back yard. My parents would throw in surprise weekend trips to Duluth to see the Great Lakes, go to the air force museum and to the local historical landmarks. I was never sad when I did these things.
4. Clean It Up Then Let It Be—When you have to focus so much attention on keeping the home, garage and car clean, it takes away from your family and hence your family happiness. Instead of making memories you’ll be making beds, picking up toys and doing dishes. Get rid of things, organize things and simplify. Then remember that your family is more important than a pristine home, delicate treasures or extra stashes of stuff.
5. Be the optimist—It’s contagious. When I am in a bad mood I can change the mood of my home to utter misery within minutes. When I’m happy, I can dismiss most any cloud of gloom. If you want to be happy in your family, focus on the positive in all elements of your life. Happiness is most definitely a choice.
Michelle Packard, author of Family Ever After: Simple Ways to Achieve Extraordinary Happiness With Your Ordinary Family, has been married for 10 years and is mother to her four very human and totally fabulous kids. Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Home and Family Science from Brigham Young University. She has spent a great deal of time working with children and young adults and finds her greatest joy is helping to create happy families.
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