Building a healthy family. You see this topic in many publications. However, the information often falls short. They concentrate on one or two areas, like eating right and getting exercise, and stop. We suggest there is more to building a healthy family than staying fit.
Define a healthy family?
In order to build a healthy family, you must first define a healthy family. Yes, eating right and getting exercise plays a big role. But it is only one part of the issue. A healthy family focuses on many topics. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Physical health
- Annual check-ups from your doctor and dentist
- Emotional health
- This includes teaching your child how to identify and express their emotions in a healthy way.
- Spiritual health
- Whether you believe in a particular religion or you believe in the cycle of life, and the planet as part of the universe. Your child should be taught where they fit in the design of your core values.
- How we treat ourselves and others.
We will give you basic tips that will help you begin to build your healthy family. As you can see, some of the attributes of creating your healthy family are personal, and only you and your life partner or family support system can address them. We encourage you to talk about these things and decide together how you will teach these values to your family.
Everyone matters equally
This is a big issue. Our busy schedules make it difficult to have a family life, career, and social life. It seems that one parent is always on the go trying to get Bobby to football practice and Annie to dance class.
Make a calendar as a family. Write each person’s name and their activities in a specific color. Include pick-ups, to and from events and not the time these things take. Now, look at the calendar. Is there a specific color that dominates the calendar? Everyone has a clear picture, and everyone should be part of the solution. Trade off duties with the other parent. If one child is in too many activities, eliminate some of the activities. Make sure you give each child equal time.
Mandatory family night
It does not matter when it is. Pick an evening for family time. For example, select Tuesday night from 7 to bedtime. On that day, children do their homework when they get home. Do something as a family. Go for a walk to the park and play with the kids, play board games, order pizza and watch a movie, work on a puzzle. Whatever you do, do it together.
Make this a special night. Let the kids fill a sandwich baggie with candy for the week. If you are looking for bulk, sugar-free candy wholesale, order it online. The kids will not know it is sugar-free unless you tell them.
Create an issue box
This can be any box with a lid. If something bothers someone or makes them sad or angry or they just don’t like something, they are to write it down and drop it in the box. Note: this is for long-term issues. If your child is having an issue like a bully at school, they bring that to you immediately. But, if they don’t like that Bobby dominates the tv and Annie never gets to watch her shows, or that Bobby has a cell phone but Annie doesn’t; they put it in the box. Once a week the box is emptied, and you address the issue. You can explain that Bobby got his phone when he turned 12 and Annie will too. But you address the issues seriously and do not make fun of them.
Be a partner first
A long time ago, you met someone and fell in love. You chose to spend the rest of your life together. Then your love grew in the form of children. So many times people focus all their time on the children that they ignore their partner. This is what numbs relationships and sometimes kills them. Set an example for your kids that you are a team. Make sure you have at least one date night a month. Let the kids bond with their grandparents. For that one night, you are with the person you love. All your focus is on them.
Adult issues stay between adults
Never discuss adult issues in front of your children. Even is the disagreement is about them, take it behind closed doors. All they need to know is the decision that was made. Do not insult each other, blame each other, or disrespect each other in front of your child. How you treat each other will be a road map to how they treat their partner, Give your kid a break.
It will take a little effort, but you can build a healthy family. Soon it will just be a normal routine. Your entire family will be happier and healthier for years to come.
Featured Photo credit: Amber Morse