Are your children self-motivated to get things done on their own or do they think life is all fun and games? Do they shy away from homework, chores, responsibility AND their parents? Are you and your spouse (if you are fortunate to have 2 parents involved) promoting a pleasant and up-beat atmosphere in your household?

Recent Family Dinner

Recent Family Dinner

Who’s the happiest? –

Try to picture this… Our whole family, or at least the ones coming with us on most outings… that would be about 10 on the typical trip since the average gap between them is 1.5 years and by the time they are 15, they don’t hang with us anymore.

We file into our 15 passenger Ford van and I wait patiently (OK, not always so patient) while they get in and close the doors. OK, so their doors aren’t quite closed as we are backing out – who has time to wait? As we start to drive away and the young-uns are settling in, I look into the rear view mirror and ask “is everyone happy?” The ones who heard me above the noise going on, answer “yeah, I am.” Then I will ask, “who’s the happiest?” The youngest, maybe up to about age 11 or 12, when they are still not too cool to show it (as teens are) will answer “MEEEEE!” just as enthusiastically as they can. By this time, because I have done this routine so often will start to show me how happy they are by smiling their biggest smile even before I ask them to “…let me see how happy you are.” Sometimes I’ll just skip the first part and go directly to “Who’s the happiest?!” and I’ll get 5 or 6 competing to show me he or she is the happiest. At this point I have to look at them all and see who really is showing me the biggest smile. I’m sure some of them have torn their mouth a little wider with their fingers, trying to stretch it to show the widest grin possible.

A cheerful home has to have a balance between fun, work, guidance, discipline and respect. There are many ingredients to finding this balance and with all the variables involved, it’s impossible to have and maintain it all the time. There are bumps in the road, challenges to overcome, but realize they will always be there and expect them because they are part of this thing called life.

In this blog and with my up-coming book, I hope to make a difference in your family relationships.

All the best in raising your happy family.

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