Get Your Family Life Back!
Simple ways for you and the kids to get closer.
Your little ones fight at the dinner table, and when exactly did your middle schooler start texting so much? Even you and your husband don’t have much to talk about except the bad stuff.
Welcome to the American family 2010.
But no matter how long your tribe has been that way, you can take steps to change them and yourself. The most important thing, experts say, is to recognize that your chaotic dinner table isn’t an isolated symptom; it’s a reflection of how your family is doing as a whole. “Essentially, your household is an organic system,” says Andrea Reiser, co-author of the book Letters from Home. “That means that making the right changes in certain areas—those connected with basic life values—can yield dramatic improvements in seemingly unrelated ones.” Reiser’s husband, David, who wrote the book with her, explains, “Take, for instance, respect. When you respect your family members, you’ll not only speak kindly, you’ll be on time for dinner and hang up your clothes instead of throwing them on the floor. You’ll naturally want to help each other instead of making your family members miserable or creating more work for them to do.”
Sounds great – but the truth is it’s going to take a lot of work. Just because a technique is simple doesn’t mean you’ll get the job done tomorrow, or in a few days, or even in a few weeks. “It might not be easy,” Andrea Reiser acknowledges. “But your job is to guide and teach, not…win your child’s approval!”
Here are some of the Reisers’ best techniques: