Here are some tips on how to bring out the BEST in your family!!!
Hold weekly family meetings. Make, “How are we doing?” the focus of every agenda. Let everyone speak and listen with empathy. Seek consensus — and conclude every meeting on a positive note.
Show appreciation. Say “thank you” for every expression of love you get. Resolve to compliment at least one family member every day. Showing appreciation becomes easier the more you do it.
Criticize kindly. Try to overlook annoyances, so that it’s rarely necessary to criticize at all. If you must criticize, avoid global statements such as “You always overcook the meat.” Instead, share your own needs. Saying, “I would enjoy the meat more if it were medium-rare,” encourages the chef to do something for you rather than feel badly about himself.
Enjoy one another. Plan for regular family treats. Consider a special family dinner, a “game night,” or a “night at the movies” with videotapes and popcorn. If kids play musical instruments and want to give a concert, what could be better?
Examine your roots. Invite the family genealogist to explain your ancestral tree. If there isn’t one, consider a family project. A good resource is the National Archives site (www.archives.gov). Older family members are resources, too. Videotape their recollections of old times.
Reach out. Check with your church or synagogue, local newspaper or the appropriate county agency for a listing of volunteer opportunities.
Give up something. Sacrifices of time, convenience — and, yes, ego — can strengthen family life.
Parade Magazine, December 1, 2002.