What do you wish for your family in the new year? Less yelling? More time together? A chaos-free home? Dr. Phil shares eight resolutions that every family should consider making.
1. Take inventory and prioritize.
If you want to turn chaos into harmony and rhythm in your household, you have to be willing to challenge everything. Nothing is sacred. You may have to change your lifestyle, rearrange your schedule or drop some of your commitments in order to fully benefit your family. Are your children involved in too many activities? Are you so busy you never have time alone with your spouse? Ask yourself what's really important to you and your family.
2. Recognize what you're doing to contribute to the problem.
You may be very loving and well-intended, but you could be making critical mistakes. Are you a control freak? Do you never say no even when you're overscheduled? Do you ever have time to sit and enjoy your children? Think about what changes could start with you.
3. Learn to delegate.
Oftentimes, mothers take it all on themselves when their children are old enough to lend a helping hand. You can't do everything. Divide up the labor and responsibilities so you're not so worn out all the time. Give your kids specific tasks that they can each be responsible for. Your kids will appreciate it. It'll make them feel helpful, and you'll have more to give them in return.
4. Eat meals together as a family.
If everyone has a different schedule and you don't ever gather together for a family meal, you are missing an important part of a cohesive family. Make a commitment to sit down for a family meal as often as you can. Everyone needs to get around the dinner table and talk about the day. Turn the TV and phones off, and turn the chaos down. You can enjoy this time together, laughing and talking.
5. Create family rituals.
Plan something fun for everyone to look forward to, like game night once a week. It can be a time to de-stress, decompress, relax and have fun together without the TV on or the phone ringing. Do your children like to bake? You could have a weekly baking night. Find special things to do every holiday or birthday. Your kids may roll their eyes, but they'll be grateful for the time together.
6. Schedule family meetings.
Taking just a short amount of time to gather and calmly talk about the week, what's coming, what's expected, and to ask questions can really bond a family. It's also a good time to organize the schedule, work out family problems and allow everyone to be heard.
7. Make each child feel special.
Make a commitment to have "dates" with each of your kids. Find one thing you can do that's unique to each child that you don't do with the other kids. While family time is critical, the time you spend with each child individually is also vital to who they become as adults.
8. Nurture your relationship with your spouse.
One of the most important things you can do for your children is to take care of the relationship between their mom and dad. Don't stop being friends and lovers because you've become parents. Schedule in date night for just the two of you regularly in the new year. Remember why you fell in love in the first place.