Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Despite the perfect picture families that always seem to loom over us on television, posters and bill boards, there are many more complexities and dynamics to families than all smiles and laughter. All families are different, and all families have their own issues, but with the right amount of work and determination, you can make your family life the best it can be, by developing your relationships and learning more about yourself and your relatives. No one's family life is perfect; but you can make yours good, so why not?
Respect your parents. Do this not just by giving them respect, but by listening to what they say and trying your best to make them happy. Realize that you may be able to choose your friends, but you're born to your family. If there's nothing you can do to please your parents, you'll be happier if you just accept it for now and focus on pleasing yourself. Making others happy is secondary to being happy yourself. And things do change over time.
Realize that life is not always going to go smoothly. Try to face the "ups and downs" in your family life with positive thinking and a cool mind. But your family doesn't have the right to make you miserable just because they're family. Try to get along, but if it doesn't work, let it go. Try to compromise whenever and wherever it's possible. When you see that the people who you love most are happy, you will have a feeling of great happiness. You will have to compromise a lot in life; family is the first environment to begin learning this important skill, amongst people who know you best and can guide you with their reactions, thoughts and suggestions. Even the things they don't tell you become a learning experience. Give occasional gifts to your family members. Surprise gifts can be great because most people love them. The best gifts tend to be the ones you make yourself, or put a lot of thought into. Also appreciated are gifts of your time; doing tasks around the house that haven't been done for a while such as painting touch-ups, restoring missing door handles etc. and clearing away clutter. Be honest with your parents, but bear in mind that they don't always need to know everything. If you get along well, you can open up, but if you don't, avoiding tender subjects can keep the peace. Sometimes saying nothing can be better for a family relationship than saying everything. Family is forever. Why fight about the little things? Feel free to communicate with each and every person in your family. Listen to them when they want to say something; try to be with them when they need you. Bear in mind that the needs of your family don't outweigh your own. Give them your time and love, not your life.
Dedicate a slot, it may be once a week or once a month in which you have a 'Family Time'. This could be anything, watching a movie together, playing a game, going out on a trip, but make sure it is something everyone will enjoy. Eat together. Modern-day life makes this virtually impossible to do, however, it really does change your family life dramatically -- for the better. Make time for siblings. They know you best, and they will tell you the whole truth, even when you don't want to hear it. As we grow up, our relationships with siblings may not be as strong as we think, but when you're older you may find yourself grateful for the work you put in now. Be supportive, encouraging and honest. Accept that your relationship with your family depends on both you and them. If they can't meet you halfway, you will be happier if you don't spend all of your energy making all the effort.
* Be patient.
* Compromise is the most valuable tool you have.
* Sometimes families are just dysfunctional. It happens. You come first.
* Don't put everything down to hormones. If your teenager feels reluctant to talk to you, he or she may be upset about something or being bullied. Ask if everything is okay.
Family members are never entitled to be abusive. If they are, don't waste your time. They can't always be won over with patience and kindness. Stay out of toxic situations when you can.