by: Dr. Lesley Iwinski
If you want what is best for your family, you probably won’t aspire to be just “normal” or “average.” But families that make deliberate, conscious choices in line with their values tend to be healthier and to function more consciously and effectively.
To all the world, they look normal and average. Actually, they are exceptional.
So what do healthy families have in common?
1) Every member, from youngest to oldest, feels respected.
2) When mistakes are made, they look for learning opportunities and ways to make things right rather than blame or shame.
3) Family members feel heard and understood. Listening is valued. This starts with the adults.
4) They try to meet everyone’s needs. When needs are in conflict, members look for a solution that serves everyone rather than focusing on “winning.”
5) They work together with a common goal on jobs, projects and building their community because they value working together as a team.
6) No matter what happens, everyone knows they are uniquely loved and valued.
How can you help boost your Healthy Family Quotient? Here are a few ideas:
– Do something every day that lifts you up. On a regular basis, charge your batteries so that you can keep on going.
Children count on having parents who take care of themselves and get enough sleep.
– Make time every morning, evening and after any time apart to re-connect. “It’s so good to see you!” “You look marvelous!” “Tell me the best thing that happened today!”
When your child is connected to you, everything goes better.
– When it comes to discipline, take punishment off the table. Implement positive guidance and watch your children blossom.
Neuroscience supports this more effective approach to raising responsible, confident and resilient children.
– Have regular family meetings where you enjoy one another, make plans for work and play, and share a game, story or a healthy snack. You don’t have to make it a big deal… just do it!
– Learn! Resources for parents are more available than ever. Check out books such as “The Whole Brain Child” and “No Drama Discipline” by Daniel Siegel.
Laura Markham’s “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids” is also an excellent resource for parents.
Start a book club and learn together, and attend workshops and classes in your community.
Here’s to your healthy family!
Dr. Lesley Iwinski is the mother of three grown children, a family physician and owner of Growing Peaceful Families, LLC.
She offers classes, workshops and seminars.
Info: (859) 333-3053 or www.growingpeacefulfamilies.org.