Have you ever looked at families portrayed on TV and thought how unrealistic they were? They are all in great shape, they look good, they never fight, their kids are well-behaved and they all seem so happy! Surely no family is like that in real life?
Well, here’s news for you – any family can be just as happy and healthy as that as long as they cultivate the right habits at home. If you don’t put effort into encouraging positive behaviors in each family member, how to you expect to end up with a well-rounded and properly functioning family unit? If you find yourself taking the easy option most of the time – allowing your family members to eat their dinner at different times with their plates on their laps in front of the telly, clearing up after everyone, arguing in openly with each other to score points and ignoring each other when you could be spending time together strengthening your bonds – you’ll probably always think that the idyllic family is a pipe-dream and a myth.
Do things together
This is pretty basic stuff. A group of individuals going about their business separately, who happen to be related to each other can only be called a family in a very narrow sense. Central to the strength of many families is the habit of eating together. If you can’t do this for every meal, at least try to do it for the main meal. This is a time when you acknowledge each other’s contribution to the family effort – that delicious meal didn’t get there by accident. Somebody provided the table, chairs, crockery, cutlery, ingredients and somebody put their time and effort into creating it. Children are encouraged to help out in any way they can, this might just be by washing or drying dishes. This time is also important for sharing the day’s experiences, discussing any family issues and making plans together. Consider it to be a daily general meeting in which everybody is encouraged to communicate their thoughts.
If someone is the family has a particular passion, try to share it as much as possible with the others. If you like watching football, take the family with you. If your child likes playing hockey, go along with them and organise a local youth team. If you’re used to leaving your family and going to the pub for a drink, you could take the family with you. If that’s not possible, invite your friends and their kids over to your house for a drink and a meal or to play some board games. There are so many options for doing things together that you’ll find it’s difficult to justify doing anything without your family.
Fitness isn’t something that affects our body’s capabilities – it has a great effect on our mental state, too. You might not be able to find time to go outside for a job every day, but if you have a treadmill at home, you’ll find you can take advantage of it at any time. Exercise and good eating habits are fundamental to our physical and mental wellbeing. There are many enthusiastic reports online which can help you choose the right equipment to use in your home – enabling you and the other members of your family to get the exercise you need to stay healthy.
As for grocery shopping, you obviously need to have good nutritional food in your home and as little junk food as possible. This doesn’t mean you can’t have treats – fruit salads are always popular and you could have the odd pizza every now and then, especially if you make the toppings together!
Make sure you and the rest of your family have agreed bed times and waking up times. Stick to these as closely as you can as your quality of sleep has a major impact on your health and state of mind. It’s a good idea to wake up early in order to avoid having to rush in the mornings. Take your time to have breakfast together, perhaps listening to the birds wake up and watching the sun rise.
With a little bit of effort from everyone, your family could become a model for others within no time at all!