Creating a healthy family environment sounds very daunting… maybe impossible. However, as a family unit, you can make collective changes to foster healthier habits.
Thriving Families Make Healthier Decisions as a Unit
When creating healthful changes, give your family an opportunity to have an open dialogue by involving all family members. These discussions can also increase self-confidence in children and create accountability within family members to adhere to the upcoming changes. The key to creating a healthier environment for the family is to provide strength and support to all family members by being:
- Flexible—You may need to adjust to find what works best for your family, especially if you have very young children.
- Realistic—Implement practical changes for your family members, and discuss the progress and struggles regularly.
- Positive—Always be gentle and encouraging when responding to inevitable shortfalls.
Thriving Families Love to Play
Family playtime not only helps add physical activity every day, but it also creates positive relationships, a sense of camaraderie, improves communication, and more. Pick activities that resonate with the family members and add variety to it. Also, leave some space for personal physical activities as well.
Thriving Families Communicate
Communication plays a significant role in creating healthier habits within a family by providing a safe platform to respectfully voice opinions, promote understanding, and deepen connections within the unit. In order to encourage positive communication, parents should listen without judgement and give each child a chance to speak his or her thoughts. Non-judgmental listening not only teaches children to relay their feelings and thoughts, but also gives parents time and space to process and give creative feedback.
Thriving Families Honor “MY” Time
Thriving families understands that it is important to invest time in personal growth and rejuvenation. As much as collective time is important, so is “My” time. I always say, “You cannot fill up others if your cup is not full.” “My” time is essential for you to practice for your own well-being, and to serve as a role model for your kids. This trait teaches kids to be in their own company and pursue different hobbies and connect with their thoughts and feelings; it also helps to build self-confidence in younger youth to become more self-reliant.