How can you tell whether you have a happy family? Here are ways to tell from the experts.
Everything changes when you have kids. Suddenly, their health and happiness becomes your priority. You work hard to create a life they enjoy. But how do you know if it’s working? Are your efforts paying off? How can you tell if yours is a truly happy family?To get some indication of how happy your family is, read these signs from Dr. Robin Berman, a psychiatrist and author of “Permission to Parent,”.
According to Dr. Berman, parents who observe their children for signs of happiness are in for a surprise. “Having kids is like having a mirror pointing back at you,” she shares. So when you’re looking for clues in your kids as to their happiness, you may see a glimpse of yourself staring back. “And that’s why kids are a glorious opportunity to evolve,” she says with a smile.
Here are seven things happy families have in common, and how they point to a family’s inner happiness:
1. You Have a Clear Family Hierarchy
Happy families have a healthy “top down” behavioural hierarchy, first and foremost, says Dr. Berman. This doesn’t mean all decisions come from parents or grandparents, with no one else’s input. Instead, it means that if you see great character traits in your children, like honesty or dependability, it’s because they learned it from you. And that’s speaks volumes for who you are as individuals.
2. Your Kids Feel Safe Talking to You
You have a happy family if your kids and spouse feel safe to be honest with each other. Says Dr. Berman, if your kid lands himself in trouble and he ends up not saying things like ‘My mom would have gone nuts if I’d have told the truth!'” Then, that’s not a happy kid. A happy child may brace herself for Mom’s disappointment, but doesn’t hide from it because she knows you’ll survive her poor grades, or that one time suspension. This in turn, will allow him or her to know his own shortcomings and will try not to upset you again.
3. Your Kids Have a Strong Family Identity
Happy families have a sense of “we.” You’ll know your family is a happy one when you hear your kids and partner saying things like “We aren’t afraid of a little hard work,” or “Cricket is our thing.” It may even be something seemingly inconsequential, like “Our family loves pizza.” When you hear this, says Dr. Berman, you know your kids are happy and proud of their family identity, and that’s huge.
4. You Give Your Kids the Tools to Succeed
According to Martin, you have a happy family when your go to method of behavioural correction brings you closer to your kids, not further away. “You give your child tools to succeed,” he says, “rather than taking things away which doesn’t work anyway!” Your discipline should create a bond, not a wedge, between you and your kids, strengthening their emotional well-being. So, maybe rather than a spanking or scolding, if you try make your child meditate on why what is right and wrong, he has a higher chance of succeeding in life, thanks to the sense of reasoning you have developed in him or her.
5. You Own Up to Your Mistakes
Happy families accept and acknowledge their mistakes or goof ups. “Occasionally, every parent blows it,” Dr. Berman says, “But then you model a good apology to your kids or spouse, too, by telling them, for example, that your message may have been good, but your tone of voice was through the roof, and you’re sorry.” You acknowledge your mistake and make sure your child is nearby to observe it. This feels Dr. Berman makes kids feel honoured and develop respect for you.
6. You Love Each Other Flaws Included
You know your family is happy when you enjoy spending time with each other.. “You accept your kids for who they are, not the child you expected or wanted. You relax and have fun with them.” says Dr. Berman. Being known inside and out and being loved anyway is an emotional need for children, and when you fill that need, “happy” is an understatement for their response.
7. Your Kids Act With Kindness
Happy kids use respectful tones. They show respect with you, grandparents, siblings, teachers and even the pet. “There’s a loving way to say everything,” says Dr. Berman. “All feelings are welcome, but all expressions of them are not.” So your child may be angry or even feel rage, but he may not let that anger fuel his choice of words. Respectful tones expose happy hearts.
At YouCare, we believe in celebrating the uniqueness of every child. Let us as parents celebrate our child’s own way of laughing, playing, creating a mess or being on his own. Let us all celebrate this unique gift from God which makes our lives so much more meaningful and evolutionary.
We will like to know what you think can be signs for a happy family. Please feel free to comment and share.
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