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Seven Keys to a Happy Family

  1. Each day, do or say something to each member of your family that conveys the message:
    "I care about you and you are very important to me."
    Be generous with your time.

  2. Communicate in a caring sensitive way with your family. Listen to other family members intensely when they talk. Look directly at them. Use their names often.

  3. Love your children firmly, stay calm and in control of yourself with the knowledge that your children need your gentle firmness and guidance. Don't be afraid to say "NO". It's an important word for a child to hear.

  4. Take care of yourself, give to yourself and your relationship with your spouse. You are a person as well as a parent!

  5. If you are in a couple relationship, work together as a parenting team. Make important parenting decisions together. Most major decisions can wait until both parents have a chance to discuss them and reach an agreement. Try not to discipline in the heat of anger.

  6. Allow your children to learn responsibility by taking self-responsibility for their behaviour. Use natural consequences; don't rescue or cover up for your child with your spouse or others.

  7. Keep a sense of humour. Laugh with your family and remember, your offspring will likely be parents one day.

We're rusty at these things, but with help, we can learn ways to make each member of the family feel really important, loved and special.