When we think of health family habits, the first thing that usually comes to mind is eating dinner at the table as a family. But what else? Is there a secret to being one of those families you see on vacation or at a restaurant that seem so happy and healthy? It might not be a secret, but there are some habits that can help your family live in harmony and be healthier too!
Plan Meals Together
In addition to eating as a family, the planning and even cooking should be done as a family. Make a five- or seven-day menu each week. As a bonus, it makes shopping for groceries easy, too! There’s a reason eating together as a family is at the top of the list. It encourages the family to talk about their day, to communicate with everyone all at once and to bond over good food.
Have a Bedtime Routine
For families with small children, having a bedtime routine is crucial for a child’s development and feeling of stability. Set a bedtime along with a routine of brushing teeth, taking a bath, reading a bedtime story, and saying goodnight. It gives the child a sense of comfort and safety as they head off to dreamland.
Caring for Elderly
For families with elderly members, try to utilize the whole family to care for them. Treat them with care and respect, and include them in family outings and activities as much as possible. Children can spend time doing a puzzle or reading a book with them, and older children can pitch in doing some laundry or helping with meals.
Every member of the family will experience stress at one time or another, even the young ones. It’s important to recognize the stress and help each other deal with it. Have open communication, talk about what is stressing you and ask for help when you need it.
Have a No Judgement Zone
Everyone in the family should be encouraged to express themselves without fear of judgement or retribution. Giving your family a safe space to talk about their hopes, fears, stresses and opinions is important!
Have Some Fun
Everyday living is hard. Work is hard. Finances and health and keeping it together is hard. But everyone in the family needs to have a little fun too. Make time to laugh together. Watch a good movie together or have a family game night. Get outside and do something everyone enjoys.
Each family member needs their own space too. Make sure everyone has their own time to do their own thing. Give everyone a little privacy to enjoy some alone time or their own hobbies. Couples should make some time for just the two of them as well.
When you look at healthy families overall, communication is the most important thing that makes it all work. The more the family does together, the more time family members have to talk. Be a role model and encourage other family members to be open too!