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How to simplify your family life

Updated on August 16, 2010

Take time to stop and smell the roses

How to have a quality family life

The modern world moves at such a fast pace that we can hardly keep up. Time seems to go by so quickly - much quicker than it did when we were children. The pace of life is chaotic, schedules are packed, and there just never seems to be enough time in the day to get through our long to-do lists. The impact of this fast paced existence is felt more than ever in marriages and family life. Most reasons marriage and family relationships go through bad patches is because it’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race and let our hectic lives get in the way of what's most important.

When did you last stop to smell the roses? The small, simple things are what make life so rich. Just being "present" and taking the time to do the little things makes all the difference. Things such as baking, or walking barefoot on the grass, or feeling the rain on your face, or just conciously breathing in fresh morning air?

Actually, this is the best way to slow things down, when things seem too chaotic - just take a deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds and then take another and do the same thing. Do this 5 times, or until you feel calmer and clearer.

Family time should be just that. We spend so much time working and rushing around, that our limited time for our families should be kept sacred and special. Try to be completely "present" when spending time with your children and partner and leave all matters from the day behind or at the office. Realise that the whole purpose of life is to love and be loved.

"To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness." - Robert Brault

Simple living with children

The following list provides some ideas of how to live a quality life with your children and to avoid conflict in the home as much as possible.

  • Eat regular meals with your children, as a family and try to take time, instead of rushing over breakfast in the mornings.
  • Instead of saying "goodbye", say, "see you later". It takes the stress out of separation anxiety, especially in younger children.
  • Keep weekends and evenings and whatever spare time you can for family and children.
  • Establish routines, such as bath and bedtime and make these times special by playing with your children and reading to them.
  • Simplify household chores, but give the children some simple things to do to help and to also let them feel some pride for their home.
  • Have simple, basic rules that they can follow.
  • Eliminate things you don't need and keep only good quality toys.
  • Get easy baskets or storage containers for the children's rooms to make tidying up easier.
  • Avoid letting the children sit in front of the TV, unless they are watching something specific. Set times that they are allowed to watch television and let them choose the programs that they would like to watch.
  • Teach your children to be independant as soon as possible.
  • Educate your children about money and finances.
  • Be an example of how you want your children to be.
  • Continue to develop patience.
  • Never lie, keep promises and expect the same back.
  • Have a sense of humour.
  • Never forget that your children are constantly learning.
  • Stick to your word when it comes to dicipline.
  • Stick together as parents when it comes to important decisions or dicipline. Never let your children play you up against each other.
  • Respect one another in all instances and teach your children the importance of good manners.
  • Praise your children whenever you can.
  • Teach your children to be responsible for their actions.
  • Don't play children up against each other.
  • Teach children that simple gifts are more meaningful than expensive ones.
  • Encourage children to be creative and make cards and gifts.
  • Help your children with everything, wherever you can.
  • Make sure your kids do sport - preferably team sport.
  • Let your children know that they can come to you with any problem, no matter how difficult.
  • Don't over do extra mural activities. Give your kids some spare time for themselves.
  • Encourage children to enjoy food and don't make them into fussy eaters.
  • Teach your childern about sex, alcohol and drugs sooner than later. It is better they hear about it from you than from other kids.

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    • Bee Erikson profile image

      Beryl Dingemans 7 years ago from Amsterdam, The Netherlands

      The opening picture is one of my art works! Thanks for the comments. Will write the conclusion and personalise it!

    • cluense profile image

      Katie Luense 7 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Awesome Hub! I rated it up a notch! Keep on writing! I do this all of the time! Not once did my object on the Dreamboard not come true! It is awesome to see how we can focus on something and it come to pass! Thank you for this HUB!

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      This is a nicely written article with a lot of good material and hints. I loved the opening picture. It could do with a conclusion paragraph and I would love to have seen some personal examples on how these concepts have helped you. Best of wishes.