We’re all riders on the storm, as Jim Morrison sang it. We start our lives with close to nothing, and there are various dangers along the way. The safest shelter from this storm, the place you’ll always be able to find happiness and fulfillment, lies in your family. But this shelter is not impenetrable. The hardships of life can leave their trace here, too. We are searching for the happiness in the eyes of our loved ones because that fills us with the greatest joy in life, but there are times when there can also be found certain burdens, disappointments, and sorrows. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a part of the unhappy family. Sometimes struggling with your parents, partner, and kids is a completely normal thing because a family is nothing more than a close relationship between different individuals. And even those relationship bound by blood need to be built, which is an ongoing process. We’ll let you in on a couple of secrets to make that process as smooth as possible.
1. Hold me close, but not too tight
It is normal for family members to become a bit distant as time passes because every individual has a different life path. This is the aspect you can not control, but you can set up some parameters of that distance without fencing it out. Organizing family dinners has many advantages, but it doesn’t become an obligation. It is a perfect way to spend some quality time with your loved ones, but if forced it can easily become quite formal and serious. You should turn your meals together into a simple and humorous ritual because silly things create the most precious moments in today’s over-serious world. This is also why modern parenting skills should also include board and video games. The trick is to make your kids feel free to go anytime they want but to make them wish to stay. Just keep in mind that keeping it loose doesn’t mean you need to set up some boundaries – children want to be free but, at the same time, they’re also frightened of the idea.
2. Down the roots of mystery
You’re competing with all the wonders of the modern world, so you need to retain their interest in the family. The best thing is that it’s not something you need to produce because it’s already there – if you wonder why genealogy mystery books are so popular it’s because they make us feel we belong to something magnificent and greater than ourselves. So take out your old photo albums and let the mystery begin.
3. I’m my own boss
Not only kids have the need to be independent. Parents and partners also need their personal space in order to feel free. Nobody likes to depend on some other person no matter how close that person is, and finding yourself in that situation can cause a lot of stress and unhappiness. One of the biggest obstacles to the independence of family members is certainly money. Although family money ‛belongs to everyone’, unequal earnings can always produce shame or envy, leading to secrets. In order to prevent this, financial issues must always be discussed and decided together.
4. Accept the change
But the balance on your account is not the only thing that varies – our needs and desires also change during time, which can have a great effect on family health, especially between married couples. It is not uncommon that you realize you need a different partner during this change, which doesn’t mean the love is over. If you have kids you can try to work it out through the joys of parenthood or you could try to bring back intimacy to your marriage, but sometimes the healthiest way is to accept the end. In these cases, it can be very hard to come to a mutual understanding, especially in a bureaucratic turmoil of divorce, financial separation, and child custody. That’s why it’s important to have a trusted and experienced family law firm at your disposal that will lead you through the process without the danger of shredding all your happy times to pieces. Even if you’re not officially together, bonds developed throughout the years will always make you a family.
5. It’s your decision
Affected by today’s fast rhythm of life we’re so stressed out we can’t see the difference between important and unimportant. Every stressful situation comes from our decision on how to react. Doing home chores is nothing compared to nine-to-five office work, but we argue about them all the time because we have the feeling we’re doing most of them. By simply creating a chore wheel for every chore instead of complaining will move that obstacle out of the way. If you decide to make things easy and simple, they will be. Toddlers spit the food around – simply cover the floor around them with newspapers. Replacing an empty roll of toilet paper takes less energy than yelling throughout the whole house. Gulping and crunching noises can’t be heard if there’s some relaxing music on. It makes you wonder what have you been so stressed about, right?
Families are forever, which is a double-edged sword. Your loved ones can be the source of the greatest joy, but they can also be the cause of a lot of stress and unhappiness. Luckily, it’s up to you. The health of your family life depends on your own ability to accept them as individuals, respect their needs and desires and accept that each one has its own life path.