Creating a healthy and highly-functional environment for your family to grow in may seem like a daunting task, especially when you consider the usual portrayal of family structure as hectic and dysfunctional.
However challenging changing your and your family’s behavior may seem, you need to realize that change is a process, and by taking small steps you can get to where you want to be in terms of a healthier lifestyle. Here are the top five everyday changes you can implement to help your family become a group of happy and healthy individuals.
Cultivate healthy eating habits
Healthy habits are taught at home, and in order to improve the health of your family, you need to take one step at a time. Start by limiting takeout foods and trips to restaurants. Although they can be fun, it’s best if you would cook at home and eat out only a few times a month. Not only will this decision save you some money, but it’ll also gather the whole family after a long day and give you a chance to talk and reconnect over a healthy meal, which can do wonders for the emotional and behavioral health of both children and parents. Incorporate different fruits, veggies, and whole grains into your home-cooked meals, and work together to create a weekly meal plan the whole family will stick to.
Work together to create a healthy environment
Our homes are a reflection of ourselves, which means we should strive to create a clean and healthy environment. Start by tackling the clutter and throwing out anything that is of no use to you. This will free up some room and give you a fresh perspective of what you need to get. The next step would be to deep clean the entire house while paying special attention to areas that are often disregarded such as bathrooms. Toxic mold lurking around water pipes and in moist areas can pose a potential health hazard, which is why it’s crucial to choose front load washing machines from a reliable manufacturer and to give our showers and bathtubs some TLC. Decluttering and deep cleaning your home will alleviate the stress and help you create a healthy and relaxing environment.
Divide and conquer your household chores
Organized family is a happy family, and when it comes to keeping your home clean, household chores should be evenly distributed. Think of your family as a team where everyone has a different role. While someone is in charge of washing the dishes and emptying the bins, others are helping set and clear the table. Divide up your household chores by creating a chores chart and assigning everyone with different tasks, just be sure to assign chores fairly. Not only will this chore division keep the family going, but it’ll also teach the kids responsibility, which will only help them later in life.
Set a good example for your kids
From the minute that they’re born, children observe and adopt different behaviors that are being modeled. Since they learn by example and process what they hear and see, you need to make sure you set a good example. Many good parents make the mistake by setting bad examples, forgetting that actions speak louder than words. To successfully get your message across and help your kids grow up to be healthy and happy individuals, model the type of behaviour you’d want them to adopt. Drinking in moderation or abstaining from alcohol will show a healthy relationship with alcohol while following a healthy diet and employing effective stress management techniques will teach them to do the same.
Be ready to make compromises
Regardless of whether you’re newlyweds who share a 1 bedroom apartment or a big family who lives in a big house in the suburbs, compromises are a must when it comes to maintaining good relationships with the rest of the household. Knowing how to negotiate with the people you share your home with is a quintessential skill that will make sure everyone leaves the bargaining table happy. Every family member should be given a chance to express their opinion, and parents should be open to suggestions and be willing to adjust their expectations. If your family members can’t agree on say, a movie to watch, ask everyone for suggestions on how to resolve a conflict. Instead of one member imposing their wants and needs – negotiate. You can all benefit from this ‘no losers’ policy and resolve the problem effectively.
A healthy and happy family doesn’t have to be an idyllic myth, all it takes is making small changes that will make a big difference in the long run. By following these five steps, you?re sure to create an environment where you and your family members will thrive.
Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home decor and healthy living. Her motto is: Live the life you love, love the life you live.