6 tips for building a successful family

These family management tips can help improve family life and build a happy and successful household. 

Father on the floor playing blocks with his son.

Ways to improve family life

Every parent wants to raise good kids who are primed for success. It may sometimes seem hard, but with a little effort and a touch of creativity it can be done. Here are six ways you can teach your kids some key lessons about success while having fun together:
 

1. Eat dinner together.

Given our full work, school, and activity schedules, eating together at night may seem impossible, but research shows children who regularly dine with their families reap all kinds of benefits—everything from better health to better grades. Eating together can happen at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Choose the meal that gives you the most time to talk and connect. If you aren’t confident about your skills in the kitchen, choose simple and familiar recipes.1
 

2. Make mealtime device-free time.

Reacquaint yourself with the joy of live connection by making a rule: No phones, computers, or other devices at mealtime. Our focus on devices has reached the point that an increasing number of therapists are offering treatment for it. Children whose parents spend too much time with their phones often feel unappreciated. This can also increase their chances of developing mental health problems like depression.2
 

3. Get active together.

A family that plays together stays together. Get out the frisbee, and toss it around. Bad weather? Put on that old-time rock 'n' roll, and dance in the family room. You will discover that doing physical activities with your kids is not only fun; it makes for a happy household.

Family sitting together on exercise mats after a workout.

4. Learn a new skill.

It could be rock climbing or scuba diving. It could be how to make a pie crust or speak a bit in a foreign language ahead of a family vacation. It's not just the learning itself, but the act of identifying the goal and agreeing on it that will bring family members together.3
 

5. Save for a goal, then celebrate its achievement.

Your goal could be something as modest as buying a board game, or as ambitious as getting season passes to an amusement park. Once you have set your goal, figure out how much to save each week, how much each family member will contribute, and how each family member will earn the money. The shared sacrifice and pleasure of success will help kids learn the value of money.
 

6. Support a favorite cause.

Make a list of nonprofit organizations or causes you support, find a way to help, and schedule action. You might participate in a fundraising walk or bike ride, volunteer at a food bank, or collect used blankets and towels for an animal shelter. Again, it's not just about the activity or even the good you do; it's about the shared goal-setting that brings family members together while imparting important life lessons.

For more ideas on how to build a successful family life, visit Growing Your Family.

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“The Benefits of Eating Together for Children and Families,” HealthLinkBC. HealthLinkBC.
Amy Morin, LCSW, “The Harmful Effects of Too Much Screen Time for Kids,” Verywell Family, September 17, 2020. VeryWellFamily.com.
Albin Morgan, ”5 Big Benefits of Learning New Skills,” Vault, March 11, 2020. Vault.com.