Find Your Balance – Secrets of low-stress families

Let your family help you manage your stress

work family balanceLet’s face it: Life is busy and demanding—both inside and outside of work. Managing your career, checking off the endless “to do” lists, or juggling the ongoing demands of family life—all can take a toll. Here are a few stress management tips from families just like yours.

  • Work toward a common goal. Talk about what needs to get done around the house with your significant other or spouse, and show your appreciation as you go. Knowing the table needs to be set for dinner might inspire one family member, while doing the dishes after might suit another one. Position “chores” as a common goal to inspire family members to chip in and help.
  • Seize the small, important moments. Greet each other when you come home from work or school. Take the time to listen to each other, especially with young children. Dinner and laundry can often wait just a few minutes to hear about—and celebrate—a special event at school. The same holds true for mom’s, or dad’s, day at work. A small moment goes a long way to set the mood for the night. We always asked “what was the best thing that happened to you today?” at the dinner table.
  • Remember who is in charge. If you treat your spouse or significant other with respect, your children will more likely do the same. Role modeling patience and support versus sarcasm and criticism will show your children how to treat you and each other, and promote a smoothly run household. Some families also find that delegating chores to their children versus asking them which ones they’d like to do results in fewer arguments.
  • Get a sous chef. It’s pretty simple: Kids who help prepare meals eat more and have fun doing it. Lighten up the mood and look at cooking as a chance to spend quality time with any member of your family, not just getting food on the table. We love “make your own pizza” night – setup a pizza topping bar and get personal-size crusts – everyone is happy with their own creation!
  • Find a routine and stick to it. Whether it’s a family walk or cup of tea after dinner to relax, a quick pickup of things that get strewn about before TV time, or reading stories at bedtime, routines are comforting and consistent. Sticking to these small moments helps keep families close.

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