A healthy and harmonious family is happy, strong, and at peace.
Unfortunately, many people today have to contend with unsound family life, strife, and discord within a group that should provide safety.
Though, perhaps your family is enjoying a measure of harmony and wholeness, at least in some aspects. And you may want to continue strengthening your family unity, but you are not exactly sure how.
Here are five tips to help you make your family healthier and more harmonious at its core.
Tip #1: Promote Unity by Being Committed to Each Other
Commitment is one of those words that makes some people shudder. The fact, though, is that without commitment true unity can’t be achieved. That goes for families as well. If everybody within the family unit only looks out for themselves, you simply can’t be united.
How can you promote unity? First and foremost, work on developing a positive view of one another. Spend time together and take a good look at each other to truly see the positive side of each family member. Ponder on how much you appreciate everyone’s unique, positive qualities.
Of course, you’re all individuals with different likes and dislikes and opinions. But that doesn’t mean you have to clash or that those differences have to drive you apart. Work on being patient with one another and kind when problems do arise.
Tip #2: Foster a Spirit of Teamwork with Good Communication
Imagine a sports team trying to play together without communicating. Do you think their efforts would amount to anything? Likely not. Good communication lies at the heart of teamwork. And like it or not, your family should be a team.
How can you improve your communication? In a nutshell: listen attentively and consider what to say and how to say it carefully.
Listening is a huge part of communication, and often, we don’t do it well enough. Avoid responding immediately to a matter, and instead, listen with an open mind and respect the other person’s viewpoint, even if you don’t share it.
Only when you’re sure you understood a matter correctly, make a response. And if your loved one has expressed some discontent or hurt feelings, focusing on a rebuttal won’t improve the situation. Instead, acknowledge their feelings and say something soothing that will quell their anger. Keep your tone calm and your volume low. Accusations, yelling, or hurtful words tear a team apart, not unite it.
Tip #3: Encourage Respect Through Caring and Forgiving
Having a positive view of one another and learning to communicate in a calm and understanding manner already encourages caring and respect. Being willing to forgive each other adds another layer to promoting unity and harmony within a family.
As noted before, every member of a family is an individual with their own point of view, which means disagreements are not uncommon. When stress arises over a difference of opinion, you may say or do something hurtful before you realize it. That’s human.
At times like that, hurt feelings can make you lose sight of what’s most important—family harmony. Instead of putting up a wall, take responsibility for your part in the discord, apologize for anything you’ve done or said that contributed to the matter, and state what you will do to correct the issue. And if another family member apologizes to you, forgive them.
Tip #4: Promote Trust by Being Good Examples
Granted, parents are generally the ones who set the tone in a family, but that doesn’t mean that children can’t contribute to a harmonious spirit with their examples. If every member of the family models respect, caring, teamwork, and commitment, trust can flourish.
Everybody has the ability—no matter how young or old—to learn self-control and, thus, maintain self-respect, dignity, and harmony with the rest of the family. And it’s a good practice to be on the lookout for praising family members who display a good example, especially in difficult situations. Remember, praise can come from anybody, not just the parents.
Tip #5: Practice Unselfish Support and Generosity
Unselfish support ties in directly with the first point of promoting unity by developing a positive view of each other. An unselfish person doesn’t look out for their own gain, they’re looking out for others. Practicing unselfish support means taking actions to help a family member in need or to show them that you’ve got their back.
The motivation for such actions comes from a deep feeling of togetherness—a profound bond. It will not only rouse you to do something but also be generous with your support. Everybody in the family can do that by applying themselves to give. Giving of their time, their energy, and even resources for others in the family. Children, no matter how small, can learn to share freely and generously.
The above-mentioned tips are based on core values that every family can embrace. The dilemma often is, though, that families have certain values they cherish, but it’s difficult for them to put these values into actions and implement them into their daily lives.
If you would like guidance to make changes that can help your family to be healthier and more harmonious, please contact me. I would love to help you and your family avoid discord, promote peace and harmony, and reinforce your bonds.
About the Author
Julia Nelson, LPCA, LMFTA is a psychotherapist and owns a private practice in Henderson County, (Flat Rock) NC and Rutherford County, (Forest City) NC. In general, she specializes in couples counseling, anxiety and depression counseling, premarital counseling, and parenting classes. She is also a Certified Clinical Military Counselor. To find out more about Julia click here: Nelson Christian Counseling.
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