What Contributes To A Happy Family?
Updated December 13, 2018
Reviewer Rashonda Douthit , LCSW
Virtually everyone wants to have a happy family. Despite this, many families struggle with happiness, satisfaction, and healthy lifestyles. A variety of factors contribute to the happiness (or lack thereof) of a family. Financial stability, mental health, etc. each impact the quality of life for families and how they are treated and viewed by the world. The importance of a happy family increases exponentially if children are involved.
Contrary to what is often presented on television and in other forms of media, the creation of a happy family requires hard work, wisdom, and sometimes sacrifice. Good judgment is also an important factor. However, the first step to having a happy family is knowing what contributes to a happy family.
It has been said that "money isn't everything". Certainly, financial stability can be an important factor to a happy family. Although there are other things that can contribute to familial contentment, financial instability can be a stressor to individuals and families.
According to Imom, a lack of financial stability is tied to stress, obesity, depression, stroke, and heart disease. An American Psychological Association survey confirms that 73% of individuals regard money as a cause of stress in their lives. When seeking to create a happy family, money matters as does financial stability. The ability to keep a roof over the family's head, pay bills, put food on the table, and partake in other activities (such as dining out, going to the movies, etc.) requires money and financial security.
Believe it or not, financial stability can also contribute to the quality of marriages. Although there are a plethora of factors which contribute to a happy marriage, financial issues are notorious for placing a strain on (and in some cases, ending) marriages. The end of a marriage can be very traumatic and upsetting, especially if children are involved. Moreover, anyone who chooses to have children is responsible for ensuring that they grow up in a safe, secure, and appropriate environment. This cannot be done without financial stability and the ability to cover living expenses.
Children who grow up in financially secure homes are likelier to be financially secure as adults. Many people would be surprised to learn just how much kids pick up on what is around them. For better or worse, children emulate what they are most frequently exposed to. For the sake of the children's development and future success, parents are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining a healthy, happy family. Achieving financial stability is paramount to the task above.
Mental Health And Wellness
Similarly to financial stability, mental health and wellness are another bedrock and fundamental aspect of a happy family. As explained by Mental Health, mental health and wellness impact the ability to engage in productive work, deal with stress and difficulties, and make wise choices. Interactions with others and personal behavior are other things which are impacted by the quality of an individual's mental health and wellness.
A family who enjoys mental health and wellness will be able to engage in positive lifestyle choices. Eating and sleeping, engaging in productive activities, instilling honorable values in children, etc. can best be done when a family is in a mentally well state.
Emotional health also shares close ties to mental health and matters as families strive to achieve happiness. A person's emotional well-being (or lack thereof) affects how they deal with others around them. It determines how they treat their significant other and children. Emotional health also determines the habits that children observe and imitate. Children who witness their parents handle anger in a productive and non-violent manner are likely to follow suit as they learn, grow, and eventually venture into the world. Likewise, children who see their parents yell, throw objects, or engage in violence during fits of anger are more likely to viewthis as acceptable behavior to emulate.
Eating Dinner Together
Technology has become a prevalent force in modern society. It seems as though virtually everyone is checking their MacBook, smartphone, and iPad for something. While technology does come with its own merits and benefits, knowing when to put devices down is essential. According to TIME, families who eat dinner with one another are setting themselves up for countless benefits, especially if children are part of the family.
Studies have shown that young people who eat dinner with their family members are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Moreover, families who eat together are likelier to have children who are well-mannered, healthy, intellectually advanced, and confident. Dining together also impacts academic performance and conduct. Sometimes, the little things turn out to make a big difference.
Morality and Values
Morality and values are critical, determining factors in the happiness, or lack thereof, of a family. Morality and values determine whether or not significant others are honest and faithful to one another. They determine how members of the family conduct themselves in work and life. When children are involved, the value and behavior they witness can determine the morality that is internalized.
One of the most important values for parents to teach to their children is integrity. Young people should know that honesty matters. Unfortunately, the importance of integrity is not always promoted in society. Society often promotes the opposite of integrity. Far too often, cheating, stealing, and engaging in other negative behaviors are promoted in music, movies, television shows, and other forms of media. For this reason, parents must go the extra mile as they strive to instill values within their children.
Similarly to integrity, compassion, respect, gratitude, and personal responsibility are morals to be taught to children. Teaching these values to children during their formative years will truly come in handy as they grow into teenagers. There are countless negative influences and temptations out there for teens. Drugs, alcohol, and skipping school are only the tip of the iceberg. Young people who have been instilled with values are more likely to be able to resist adverse influences and make decisions that will attract both short-term and long-term benefits.
Parents are not the only influences in the lives of their children. However, this does not mean that parents cannot have any say over who spends time around their children. The quality of influences which young people have exposure to have more of an impact than many individuals realize. Positive, external influences often contribute to the healthy growth and success of children while negative; external influences tend to engender the opposite outcome.
However, even the most well-intentioned parents should proceed with caution regarding controlling certain influences in the lives of their children. Even though most parents have nothing but the best interests at heart, sometimes banning certain things or individuals from children's lives can have the opposite impact, explains Real Simple. Sometimes, the lure of the forbidden can become a factor, especially for teenagers. With that said, there are certain situations where laying down the law and being stern is appropriate. Ultimately, parents are tasked with the job of making the call depending on the nature of the situation and the quality of the influence.
Looking Into Counseling or Therapy
At one point or another, each family will face their unique challenges and struggles. Despite the inevitability of this reality, it does not have to engender the downfall of a family. The process of overcoming challenges has been known to unite families and strengthen their bond. The complications and uncertainty associated with this process can often be fixed by seeking professional help, particularly counseling or therapy.
Sadly, seeking and accepting professional help is something which many individuals still struggle with. Some people have been conditioned to believe that they should handle everything by themselves. However, no matter how strong or self-assured someone may be, everyone needs assistance sometimes. There is no shame in asking for help and benefiting from all that counseling and therapy can offer.
Here at BetterHelp, we pride ourselves on providing guidance and assistance to anyone who reached out to us. Life can be difficult sometimes, especially when attempting to maintain a healthy and happy family. Thankfully, the counselors and therapists who work with us are passionate about helping people live their best lives and experience true happiness.
Each family will have to decide whether or not counseling or therapy would benefit them. However, BetterHelp will always be available as an option and resource for all. You and your family can contact us at any time by clicking here.