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Hope is a powerful ally in ushering peace, harmony and happiness not only individually, but more so, to the extent of encompassing the whole family. Instilling hope, is the greatest gift you can give to your family. Hope empowers people with renewed strength to go on cheerfully despite the circumstances. When negative forces begin to creep in and everything else fails, the element of hope could have a stabilizing effect on the entire family.
Hope has the power to strengthen the will; it can energize one's resolve to combat any limitations or obstacles. Most importantly, there is every possibility that hope can successfully create a suitable climate for finding rational solutions to your family's problems.
Here are some constructive ways to instill hope:
Hope is built on the foundation of a strong belief system. It ignites a belief that no matter how troublesome your current situation may be, there is every possibility of it taking a turn for the better. Example: A loved one, who is afflicted with a chronic medical condition or some dire circumstances, can greatly benefit from this super gift of love. By instilling hope, you are giving the person a new lease on life. You are helping that person to believe that 'this too shall pass'; there will be a better day.
Hope can inspire a person to 'never say die!' Harboring a strong belief system with hope, can tantamount to believing that there's always room for improvement if one stays open to imbibing fresh avenues in the right direction.
Simple and straightforward communication can be the most effective one. It can awaken and revitalize a person's deeply embedded latent spirit with 'hope.' By communicating effectively, you can inspire your family to follow their dreams, stand resolute with the courage of conviction and rouse themselves to action.
Listening attentively to their woes, can be one of the most important parts of communication. By simply listening sympathetically, you can lighten the burden and lead your family to discover that indeed every 'cloud has a silver lining!'
Creating a mental capacity- - - a vision, that a better tomorrow is possible and well within grasp, can compel your family to hold on to their hopes and dreams. Instilling hope in your children, could significantly impact their academic performance. It can spur them on to put in hard work and make good use of all available resources; it could infuse them with a sense of purpose and motivate them to attain greater success.
Hope can prompt your family to move beyond simple acceptance- - - making a concentrated effort to generate positive action and make a renewed effort to circumvent and beat the odds.
It has rightly been said that 'faith can move mountains.' Faith is an affirmative state of mind through which a person's thoughts, desires and goals can be translated into action. When hope is reiterated with faith, a person can find ways to weather the worst storm and open avenues to a brighter future. As a caring member of your family, you can help your loved ones to bounce back from a state of hopelessness by instilling hope.
Caring relationships like those between parents and children, can serve as fountainheads of hope. It can withstand many trials and tribulations and culminate in having a profound positive impact on people's lives.
While instilling hope in others, what counts most is your sincerity and dedication; this can make your family member’s lives a bit easier and better. The element of hope helps people to rebuild their lives and survive crisis in the worst of circumstances.
Today, many problems can be solved if family members learn to give of themselves freely. When this happens, many hopes can be fulfilled and many dreams can be turned into reality. Make sure to infuse your family with this magical ingredient, ‘Hope.’
Ways to have a Better Family Life
The core element to a better family life begins with you parents. The responsibility of creating a better life for your family rests on your shoulders. Every family is unique in its overall perceptions. However, irrespective of race, color, culture, socio-economic status or academic background, there are some common factors like health, prosperity and happiness all families aspire for in order to ensure a better family life for their loved ones. So what can you do to improve the family life for your children?
Here are 10 vital steps to a better family life:
1. Focus on your family
Its important that parents take time to focus on their family.Your family needs to practice caring, understanding and cooperation for the common good of all. Being successful in your career may be important; but it is all the more important to focus the needed attention on your family. Give your family the gift of uninterrupted time; remember: your presence is much more important than your presents
2. Set clear goals
Every family's perspective may differ on this issue; but it is necessary to come to an understanding and arrive at common goals based on family values like integrity, kindness, respect and compassion. These core values can strengthen family ties and are the prime factors in improving family life.
3. Make appropriate lifestyle changes
Making appropriate lifestyle changes for the whole family is critical to improving the quality of your family's life. Cutting back on excesses of any kind like smoking, drinking alcohol, late night partying or excessive use of television and internet can all be detrimental to family' well-being. Make it a habit for the whole family to follow a daily routine of eating, sleeping and doing chores at regular hours.
4. Maintain good health
Better family health is the fundamental step to a better family life. Developing healthy habits in children like getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly and eating nutritious meals, can all contribute towards maintaining good health. Children especially need to be educated on the value of eating the right foods and avoidance of junk food.
5. Communicate effectively
Good communication improves relationships. It is the key to a better, happier family life. When members of the family are polite and respectful to each other, harmonious relationships can be created. This leads to taking time to review the day's happenings, discuss any concerns and consider others viewpoints- - - all of which can lead to a better family life.
6. Prioritize family needs
Prioritizing family needs entails cutting back on some luxuries and giving careful consideration before spending. The money thus saved could perhaps come in handy to facilitate the need of any one of your family member due to some unforeseen circumstances. Example, an adult member may become physically handicapped or a younger child may need help in academics by way of tutoring. Under such circumstances, a better family life can only ensue by carefully weighing the pros and cons and prioritizing family needs.
7. Maintain financial stability
Financial stability can be maintained when each family member is made to understand the need to save for ‘a rainy day.’ To make this happen parents need to make sure that their finances are in order - - -in terms of family's income, expenditure, savings and debt. It would be a good idea to evaluate your family’s needs from time to time. Evaluate your current situation and write down the changes needed in your family's spending habits to ensure the financial stability of your family.
8. Provide a pleasant home environment
Creating a positive, safe home environment devoid of stress is important - - - especially while raising children. Keep a lively cheerful atmosphere; encourage sharing family activities like reading, singing, dancing and playing games together. Children need to be taught safety rules right from an early age; younger children need to be warned against the use of electrical gadgets and guided in the right direction.
A better family life also entails keeping in touch with the outside world. Enjoying the great outdoors and having fun together by organizing picnics to the park or visiting places of interest, can provide fun for the family and enhance the quality of family life. Try re-connecting with family friends and extended family to revitalize your social life.
10. Be good role model
Being a good role model to your children can be the most impressionable aspect of a better family life. By your words, behavior and actions, let your family take a giant step forward to making your home a haven they can return to time and again. Take time to teach your family important life skills; encourage their growing independence and appreciate their efforts in pursuit of a better family life.
Family members, who are genuinely concerned about others in the family, take pride in their family and share each other's joys and sorrows. They are loyal, considerate, patient, helpful and forgiving. They habitually pool in their best efforts to contribute to a balanced, happier and better family life. Spare no efforts to be a part of a loving, caring family; it is one of the sweetest joys of life.
Source: Living Life the Better Way by Rajendra Pillai
Taking care of aging parents is not only your duty, but more importantly, your privilege. As you are a role model to your children, you will be setting them a good example. You will be teaching them some vital life lessons like being kind, considerate, caring, respectful and compassionate human being- - - which are all admirable qualities in a person.
Having been raised well by you, their parents, your children would naturally want to take care of you in your advancing years. As the saying goes, ” What goes around, comes around.” However, it could happen that with you may inadvertently overlook this very important aspect of your parent’s lives. If that happens, what could be the best solution?
Here are ten effective strategies that can be used:
Your attitude matters; consider it a blessing to have the opportunity to share your time and expertise with your parents. Manifest love by your actions; show them that you care and are concerned for their safety and well-being. However, it is important that you tend for them discreetly to ensure that they do not feel less independent.
Old age is often referred to as second childhood. It is therefore critical that you practice sensitivity while dealing with your aging parents. Careful consideration must be taken before altering their daily routine. It could happen that your parent’s feelings of helplessness or their fears and apprehensions, could make them reticent. Or perhaps, they may dread the thought of having to lose their independence! Whatever the issue, it could make a big positive difference when dealt with sensitivity.
# 3 Stay involved
It is of vital importance to stay involved in your parents’ lives from time to time. Time spent together matters; it will give you a better understanding and insights regarding their safety, capabilities and needs. Keeping a keen eye for minor irregularities,like unattended mail or unwatered plants, could give you clear indications on their ability to stay independent.
# 4 Develop a loving relationship
Positive interactions with aging parents can make the time spent together, valuable. In dealing with them, practice analyzing what works and what doesn’t. Make a genuine effort to strengthen the ties by respecting their accumulated wisdom and experience. By demonstrating understanding, affection and caring at all your meetings, you can convey to them that they are truly wanted and cherished as an integral part of your family.
# 5 Strengthen family ties
Having passed the stage of active participation in family life, your aging parents may feel lonely and isolated. At this time, they may not only need your support, but more especially your company. You can strengthen family ties, by encouraging your family to give them their time, attention and expertise. Phone calls, timely notes, greeting cards or hand-made gifts of art and craft work, can indeed make them feel special and loved. These often serve as good reminders of the very important role they play in your family.
# 6 Keep them active
It would be in your mutual interest to keep your aging parents as actively mobile as possible. Enrolling them at their local senior center and making arrangements for frequent visits to the park, church or mall would be a good idea. These activities would keep them physically and mentally alert and ensure that they do not drift into a state of isolation or depression.
# 7 Assess carefully
Carefully assess and identify what functions your aging parents are able to perform and what could lead them to tension. Problems like their inability to drive, could tantamount to their loss of independence. If this happens, you may meet with distinct emotional upheaval like anger or confrontation. However, by handling the situation tactfully and by cheerfully offering to escort them when needed, you could arrive at a mutually amicable solution.
# 8 Determine mental capabilities
It would be prudent for you to periodically determine your aging parent’s mental capabilities tactfully. These can be gauged by discussions and provide you with valuable insights before any decision pertaining to their welfare can be arrived at. Involving them in the decision making process- - - especially on important issues like healthcare, safety and finances, would boost their confidence and make them feel more capable and independent while simultaneously retaining their sense of dignity remains intact.
# 9 Keep tab
Keep tab unobtrusively. Since your natural concern would be to keep your parents comfortable and safe, some adjustments would have to be made. You may need to make arrangements with other family members or even neighbors, to keep tab on your aging parents. Weekly visits can be arranged and shared with other siblings. For those parents, who reside far away, new products like QuietCare are available; besides, strategically placed sensors, can keep tabs on elders while not disturbing their privacy.
# 10 Consider hiring help
You may consider hiring outside help to complement your efforts, especially if your parents face increasing difficulties in managing their day-to-day lives. There are many care-giving services available. Hiring help from a cleaning service would be a great boon to those unable to do the cleaning and laundry. If you find your parent losing interest in food due to their inability to prepare meals, you can step up and make alternate arrangements.
Finally, handling an aging parent requires quiet understanding, tactful handling, a willing disposition and a loving heart. It is only YOU who can best provide all of these components- - - to protect and take good care of your aging parents without making them feel deprived or less independent. Most importantly, you will be teaching your children a very important life lesson by your own example.
Gifts of love come as tokens of deep affection and have the potential to touch the recipient's heart and life. These gifts need not be material; the true essence of these gifts of love, is the element of sincerity. Gifts that are meaningful and impressionable can leave a huge, lasting impact on the receiver and significantly improve family relationships. So what are these special magical gifts?
Here are some distinctive ideas for improving family relationships by gifts of love:
~ The gift of affection
Show your love for the family by frequent holding-hands, hugs and kisses; even a pat on the back at the right moment in time, can work wonders for one's spirit! Such gifts are one of the best ways of conveying your affection and would indeed be long cherished by your family members. This special gift of affection conveys to the receiver that you genuinely care; it is one of the most precious gifts you can give to any member of the family at any time. These momentous gifts are spontaneous outpourings from the heart and are sure to mutually delight both the giver and the receiver.
~ The gift of careful listening
Careful uninterrupted listening allows you to learn more about what the other person feels and thinks and makes the speaker feel important. Your gift has great chances of being appreciated and is a sure way of improving your family relationships.
~ The gift of candid communication
Communication is the focal cornerstone in all relationships. Good communication can significantly improve family relationships. Let your gift of communication be marked with courteousness and understanding. Honest communication makes you a person who can be trusted; it helps to build your credibility and certainly improves your family relationships.
~ The gift of lightheartedness
The blessings of lightheartedness are immense; it is a unique gift of love which lifts one's spirits and makes life worthwhile. Gifting your family with humorous stories and jokes, and sharing moments of laughter and fun together with one's family, can be one of the most endearing experiences they could ever have.
Another special gift of love could be reminders of your love and gratitude. Short, handwritten notes can create a huge positive impact on your loved ones. Words like, "Thank You for inviting me over" or "You are so special to me" has the potential to be remembered for a lifetime. A simple, heartfelt compliment like, "You have a lovely voice." or "The meal you cooked was excellent" can be excellent reminders of love; these could go a long way in improving family relationships.
The above unique gifts costs you nothing, but the returns are manifold. These timeless gifts of love can be given any time- - - leaving an indelible mark on the receiver.
Parenting today is becoming harder. Today’s parents have to deal with multiple challenges and increasing difficulties. It could be anything ranging from your toddler's frequent temper tantrums to your teen's defiant behavior. Most parents may find the situation getting out of control; they may begin to question their capability as parents and find their anger building up, being engulfed with the enormity of the situation. Dealing with the manifold difficulties, could easily sap their energy, creating the morbid feeling of being pushed too far.
Coupled with these, the constant coverage of morbid stories by the media could further ignite parental fears and escalate tension—- creating a negative impact on their mental and emotional make-up. So what can parents do when faced with such a scenario? How can they effectively deal with these difficulties?
Here are three simple techniques to help parents, steer in the right direction:
1. Adjust your attitude
To begin with, it is of primary importance that you as parents, adjust your attitude in the positive direction. Remember that you are in control; believe that you can do better. As a responsible parent, it is you who can maintain a fine balance and set the stage for avoiding the occurrence of problematic situations. Studies indicate that most children act "difficult" when felt neglected. It is therefore critical that you take time and interest to spend quality time with your children. A good idea would be to pursue any pleasurable family activity every evening. This involvement could not only help you to stay calm and stress-free, but more importantly, positively prevent your children from resorting to any distasteful, negative behaviors.
2. Create a warm nurturing environment
Children thrive in a warm nurturing environment, leaving little room for difficulties of parenting. While facing any difficult situation, take a few minutes off for yourself; divert your attention to breathing slowly and deeply. Engage in any relaxing activity of your choice. Next, put your difficulties in the right perspective; even underplaying these could eventually be better for you. This approach could help you better to be more tolerant and less stressful while handling difficulties. Let your home be a haven of mutual love, caring and understanding. Take moments of "me-time" for yourself. Harboring this mind-set can energize and inspire you to deal better with the parenting difficulties.
3. Set age-appropriate limits
To ensure smooth, stress-free functioning of your home, it is important for you to set age-appropriate limits for your children's behavior, calling special attention to qualities like kindness, respect, sharing and compassion. Following an established set of routine at home in the form of general guidelines can be most effective for children. Entrust your children with daily chores; studies clearly indicate that by adopting this simple solution, there could be fewer chances of children indulging in negative behaviors. Preventing negative occurrences encourages peaceful, stress-free atmosphere in the home—-both for the parents and their children.
Parents need to keep in mind: It is your privilege and choice how you as a parent want to view the circumstances in your life; your choice how you deal with difficulties and your choice alone, to take the initiative and discover creative ways to face the difficulties that come your way. Be proud of the kind of parent you are and feel better with the knowledge that dealing with the difficulties of parenting effectively can be well within your grasp.
Once you stand committed to preparing your children to be happy, healthy and productive human beings, you as parents,can confidently look forward to enjoying the joys and rewards ensuing from this excitingly momentous journey of your lives.
Raising self-reliant children is indeed a parental responsibility. In today’s throwaway age, parents should not throwaway and dismiss the importance of responsible parenting. Responsible parenting entails raising children to be self-reliant and productive.
Parents need to realize that one day their children will be required to shoulder the responsibility of their own families. Studies indicate that today’s youth are expected to not only take care of all their personal needs, but also actively function as contributing members to the society.
To begin with, it is critical for parents to insist that the home rules are strictly adhered to by their children and would do well to designate age-appropriate tasks. Since most parents work outside the home, children should be held responsible for picking up their things and keeping their rooms tidy. This includes making their beds, vacuuming the floors, cleaning the bathroom, doing the laundry and dusting the furniture periodically.Initially, children may find it cumbersome and complain; but over a period of time, it would probably the best thing that could ever happen to them.
Obtaining proficiency in self-reliance can pay huge dividends in children's adult lives. Parents need to be mindful that they are not going to be with their children all their lives. Wise parents will spare no effort to inculcate in their able-bodied youngsters to perform daily household chores instead of doing it all themselves.
Responsible parents know that once their children become self-reliant adults, they will be able to function independently and have the ability to deal with any situation they may find themselves in. It is these children who hold themselves responsible for their behavior and actions, are the ones who would be self-reliant adults. You as parents owe this to your next generation.
To those of you who have taken time and patience to equip their children with this important life skill, you can rest assured that you have successfully paved the way for your children's future successes.