Keeping The Family Happy

Wholesome Activities, Great Attitudes, and Higher Altitudes

ACTIVITIES

As hectic as our lives are, the key is to integrate into our family culture the types of activities that ensure we spend enough time together. Here are a few things we’ve tried that have blessed our family in countless ways:

Date Night

This can be a tough one to pull off, but I’m convinced that it’s a crucial activity for any couple.  A “date” can be anything from a nice dinner out, to going for a walk, or even a trip to the grocery store. The point is that you and your significant other get out and do something together where you can leave distractions behind and just enjoy each other.  The key here is nurturing the relationship, something Mark Harai can teach us all something about.

Dinner Together at the Table

Call me old-fashioned, but there’s huge value in coming together at the end of the day as a family and sharing a meal and great conversation….and last I checked, the TV is not a member of the family.

Family Night

Designate one evening a week for a fun activity that focuses the family’s attention on each other.  Reading a great book, playing board games, singing songs or creating music, really anything to ‘unplug’ together will do the trick.

This is not easy to do, but it’s one of the most powerful ways to introduce a loving and peaceful atmosphere in the home.

ATTITUDES

When we speak of attitudes, we’re talking about the quality of the relationships that exist between family members.

Let’s take a moment to ask ourselves:

What feelings or emotions reign supreme in my home?

How do family members treat each other?

Is there an abundance of peace and love, or contention and hostility?

These are tough questions.  They’re tough because if we’re unhappy with the answers, it’s often because we don’t know how to remedy the problem.

But as the leaders of our homes, we must be the catalyst of change, otherwise, the negative cycle will never be broken.  Rob White wrote a great article about breaking these cycles

Trust me, my family is a work in progress, but there are a few key Attitudes that have made a huge difference in our home:

Be The Change You Want to See in Your Home

Gandhi said “be the change you want to see in the world” and the same applies within the walls of our home.  This is the Law of Attraction at work in our families.  This perspective revolutionized the way I see my role as a father and husband.  If I desire more respect, for example, I must give more respect.

The inverse is also true; if I am rude to a family member, this is what I will receive in return.  If you want to read about a living, breathing example of this principle at work in someone’s life

Unconditional Love

We need to show each family member, through our words and actions, that our love for them is not based on their behavior.  As a parent, we must take every opportunity to show affection to our children, especially when they make mistakes.  They have to know they are loved, no matter what!

Empathy

Stephen Covey discusses the importance of seeking first to understand.  This is the foundation of all relationships.  Once we truly understand the members of our family, we then nurture the relationship by making what’s important to them as important as they are to us.  As a new father living abroad, John Falchetto embodied this principle by serving his family in a remarkable way.

ALTITUDE

When we speak of Altitude, we’re talking about the things that bring spiritual meaning to a family.  Families aren’t meant to simply co-exist, they’re designed to empower us to accomplish more together than we ever could alone.

The goal then, is to implement into our family culture the things that help bring a sense of higher purpose to our family.  Like Stuart Mills says, “Of what use is climbing up a mountain to reach the top if no-one else comes up with you?”

Here are a few ideas:

Family Service

Look for opportunities to serve as a family.  It elevates everyone involved and has a way of putting things in perspective.  Don’t get me started on this one; it’s a separate post in itself.

A Wholesome Media Diet

Media is like food…..we are what we eat.  If your family lives on Snickers Bars, you will all lose your health.  If your family lives on a profane, violent, or immoral media diet you will lose your sense of spiritual purpose….I know this ain’t popular, I’m just sayin’!

Family Prayer, Meditation, and Worship

The other day my Mother-in-Law lost her dog in Downtown Richmond, Virginia right in the middle of the day.  After about a half hour of looking with no success, my kids who were there (I wasn’t), knelt and prayed on the concrete sidewalk right in front of everyone.

The dog was found a few minutes later.  Let’s give God the glory, and make Him the foundation of our family.  This is the single greatest thing we can do to ensure our family bonds will never be broken.

What I most look forward to with this post is hearing your thoughts on family.

What ideas for strengthening families would you add to mine?

What are some activities that bring your family together?

What’s your take on media in the family?….especially gaming?

What are some of the most powerful experiences that your family has shared?