Management & Leadership

5 Ways to Increase Family Happiness

Sep 16, 2021 | By Saranne Durham
5 Ways to Increase Family Happiness

It may seem strange to use a coach to improve family happiness, but for a moment give it a thought.  A family is essentially a team. Like a team they can either be a successful one or an estranged one that battles to get along. As a team you can have common goals and flourish together. Or, alternatively, inner dynamics and politics can cause rifts which result in no one wanting to spend time together.

Happy Families

Relationships take work. Even within a family. Each family is different – it has its inherent strengths and its own challenges.

Everyone benefits when a Family

  1. Can work together.
  2. Share a common vision and goals.
  3. Are going in the same direction.
  4. Know what the others want.
  5. Understand where the others may need help or encouragement.

“Creating a sustainably happy family can be a choice.”

Tapping into the knowledge of an expert, such as a coach, is a lifelong investment. It can pay off for years, especially if every member of a family is on board. Thus, while a family is not a business, many of the principles applied to assist work teams are applicable.

5 Ways to Positively Boost Your Family’s Happiness

1. Improving Communication

Communication takes place on two levels: Verbal and non-verbal. Thus, learning to successfully communicate with family members needs to take into account both types of communication. This is especially important because, within a family environment, a single word or a lifted eyebrow tends to convey a mountain of information. The reality is that family members vary in their understanding and awareness of each other’s body language. As well as the interpretation of what’s said out loud. These varied perspectives can cause friction or offence, even when the message conveyed was intended to help others. Familiarity also results in patterns being established and habitual knew-jerk type responses. Unrelated expert insight, that enables understanding of and improves existing communication dynamics, is a great first step towards better communication.

2. Growing Encouragement

Self-Esteem not only impacts how we see ourselves but also how we interact with our family. It’s affected by our home environment as well as our journey in the outside world and inner monologue. Unless specifically shared, the latter two aren’t easily observed by other family members. Thus, the impact of them can go unnoticed. Additionally, a lifetime of living together can result in challenges with self-esteem being seen as part-and-parcel of who the family member is.

However, a family is also an ideal environment to nurture good self-esteem in both adults and children. This can be done by being intentionally supportive and encouraging someone to share their feelings with you. Additionally, by actively including them in everyday activities then giving the positive feedback you can help highlight their innate strengths. To do this by devising strategies that can be incorporated into family life can be fast tracked by using the expertise of a coach.

3. Strengthening Connections

Self-Awareness involves being aware of your own traits, behaviours and feelings. It enables us to monitor, understand and regulate our thoughts and emotions as they arise. Thereby, impacting how we react and relate to those in our family. Without being able to identify our own contribution towards upsets and escalating fights, resolution and compromise are usually impossible. Thus, a lack of self-awareness can be the root cause of many challenges.

Developing self-awareness can help deescalates the anxiety associated with avoiding and having difficult conversations. Thus, as each family member develops better self-awareness, they will understand themselves better and help improve general family communication. This helps in preventing escalating conflict and combatting unhappiness caused by festering misunderstandings. The end result is a strengthening of connections with those we care about.

4. Identifying Common Goals

Common goals increase unity. They can also be fun to work together towards and result in shared victories. This creates a shared happy history that fosters positive bonds between family members. Good family bonds assist members in wanting to quickly resolve conflict. Having a shared history of working together, means that family members already have the tools in place to do this. Coaches can create space for families to identify common goals they would like to work towards together. They can assist in putting together a roadmap to get there, which has milestones to celebrate as family victories along the way. Wanting the same thing and working towards it creates cohesion and commonality. This helps foster sustainable and happy relationships within a family.

5. Establishing Good Habits

Families that are able to establish good habits tend towards being happier and healthier in the long run. Two activities that families can do together are meals and exercise. Even within the busiest schedules, with a little planned coordination, they can be used to carve out time to spend together. Many families use supper time as a way to catch up with each other. Others plan to do a weekly outside activity such as walking, hiking or cycling together. Often having set times to eat and exercise together results in people actually eating a proper meal and doing some exercise.

Our digital wellness is determined by how healthy our interaction with technology is. Essentially, it is the measure of impact of digital devices and technology on our mental, physical, emotion and social health. If left unchecked digital devices can decrease the quality of the time we spend with our families. Thus, within a digital era, part of planning quality time together means unplugging from our devices.

“Good communication is the basis for happier family dynamics.”

Having a plan to follow can assist in creating and maintaining good exercise and eating routines. And strategic management of digital devices at home can be accomplished by having a family digital alliance or agreement. All of which are made easier to put in place and keep to when someone external, like a coach, gets involved.

Family Coaching

Coaching is often viewed as an individual process or one used within a work setting to improve performance. But actually, coaches can be a great family resource. As such, harnessing the expertise of a coach for your family could be a rewarding choice. As well as a great investment in your family’s happiness.

Do you have an interest in working with families to be more resilient and happier in the long term? Then consider signing up for one of the South African College of Applied Psychology’s (SACAP) coaching courses. These courses are unique in that they have applied psychology and practical components threaded into the coaching curriculum. Thereby, assisting you to be a better coach with the right tools to start coaching straight after graduation. Contact SACAP directly to find out more.

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