In a happy family, every member has a sense of purpose. They feel that their life is rich in meaning. This optimistic perspective makes all their plans feel manageable. Even though happy families still have disputes, which is inevitable when people live together, these are short-lived because family members value each other more than feeling right. They prefer to spend time together rather than being estranged.
While there is no formula for how to raise a happy family, three elements that improve the harmony of family life are positive psychology, financial stability, and mutual appreciation.
Follow Positive Psychology Principles
The value of happiness in improving the quality of human life has become so obvious that in 2013, the United Nations designated the 20th of March as International Day of Happiness and created a number of goals to end poverty and inequality.
A new field of psychology, called positive psychology, has also emerged that studies why some people have predominantly positive emotions while others get preoccupied with negative emotions. It also looks at the effects of happiness on improving health and increasing personal success.
While you don’t need to study the scientific literature around the science of positive psychology if you are raising a happy family, you may want to read some books on positive psychology if you have an unhappy family–because it means that you and your family members are not intuitively aligned with practical psychological principles that support everyone’s interests.
Establish Financial Stability
There is no set amount your household income must reach to achieve financial stability. Some families do well on $30,000 a year or less while other families need to earn $60,000 a year or more. The amount earned is relative because financial stability is based on a simple equation: if your household income exceeds your fixed expenses, then you have tipped the economic balance in your favor.
However, financial stability is never an accident. It’s always a result of careful financial planning and establishing healthy money habits, such as maintaining regular savings, controlling impulse spending, paying bills regularly, and living within one’s means. Another important factor to consider in keeping your family financially secure is to get the right insurance. Besides essential types of insurance like health insurance, home insurance, renter’s insurance, and auto insurance, you should also consider the value of life insurance.
Life insurance will help pay for your family’s expenses should a tragic event happen to you, the primary household income earner. It’s also possible to purchase supplemental life insurance to increase your life insurance coverage if you think that you need more money to cover your family’s diverse financial needs.
Create a Culture of Appreciation
Dr. John Gottman, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington, invented a concept called “a culture of appreciation.” Although his theory is used to help couples rediscover happiness in marriage, it is a formula that any group can use—a couple, a family, or even an organization.
Dr. Gottman explains his theory on how to create a culture of appreciation: “Building a culture of appreciation, fondness, and admiration involves using the things you know about your partner to show that you care and want them to be happy. Positive thoughts invoke positive feelings, and the goal is to turn both into positive actions that help to heal and bring companionship back in your relationship.” You can borrow these fundamental ideas to create a family culture of love, peace, joy, patience, and kindness.
Improving your family’s financial stability, understanding the principles of positive psychology, and creating a culture of appreciation will go a long way in making your family happier.
How do you use these approaches in your family?