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Eight Tips to Nurture Your Family Life

09/24/2014 06:33PM ● Published by Hood Magazine

By Erin Williams, for Avera Health


Because family is so central to who we are and what we do, it’s also central to our happiness and that of our children. “Family life is one of the foundations – it ripples out to other areas in our lives,” said Kelsey Sjaarda, Outpatient Therapist with Avera Behavioral Health Services. There is no quick fix to guarantee a happy family life. Rather, it is about making day-to-day choices that will create lasting effects. Sjaarda shared eight tips for nurturing a positive family life.

1. Spend quality time together.

It seems like an obvious tactic, but in today’s busy world it can be difficult to find time for family. There’s no “correct” way or “right” amount of time that all families need to abide by. “Nowadays, it’s the balance,” said Sjaarda. “You have to find what works for you and your family.”

2. Communicate.

There is nothing as absolutely essential to a happy family as communication. Whether the topic is good, bad, or ugly, the ability to talk to each other fosters an open and engaged family life. Face-to-face communication is even more vital in today’s world of gadgets and apps.

3. Sit down for dinner.
You've heard it before – families that eat together stay together. What better time to engage in all that necessary communication than sitting down together around a delicious meal?

4. Encourage traditions and make some memories.


It could be as simple as making Tuesday night pizza night. Rituals and traditions tend to bring families closer together, and can also act as a way to schedule time together. Consistency is necessary in order for traditions to create lasting impressions. “Try not to fall off the wagon after a week or two,” Sjaarda said. Continuing the tradition can create great memories for everyone in your family.

5. Practice gratitude.


Each family member has his or her own quirks and traits, and that’s what makes a family so special. Make every attempt to respect and encourage the uniqueness of family members, and be appreciative for the different perspective they bring to family life.

6. Cope with conflict.


When handled properly, conflict is actually quite healthy for a family unit. It’s bound to occur at some point, so dealing with it correctly provides an opportunity to strengthen your family. To do so, define the issue and focus on the problem itself, not the person associated with it. Practice patience with one another and be willing to compromise. A quest for common ground and the ability to ask for forgiveness can resolve many hurt feelings and misunderstandings within your family.

7. Laugh.


Find the humor in the situation. Family life is far from perfect, tidy or organized, and that’s OK.

8. Get support if needed.

“There’s no right or wrong mold for a family,” Sjaarda said. “So be sure to do what works for yours.” Determining the best method of communication or resolving a conflict or crisis can be difficult, and the best route may be to seek outside support. Be sure to know your resources and the help available in your community. Your church and your child’s school often have support available, and the professionals at Avera Behavioral Health Services are also available for you and your family. 

Family, Today family togetherness
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    06:30PM — 08:00PM

    Sioux Falls Lutheran School invites you to get acquainted with our kindergarten program at our an...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    01/30/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Join us at the Museum of Visual Materials for these free activities. No registration is required ...


  • Toddler Jump

    01/31/2018
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Join us for one of the highlights of our week, Toddler Jump at Air Madness. During Toddler Jump, ...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • Open Hockey

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Open Hockey Monday & Wednesdays 11-1:00 pm Friday 2:00-4:00 pm $10.00 - per session $100 -...


  • Scheel's Family Open Ice Skate

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Scheel's Family Open Ice Skate Open Skate Rates: Admission – $6.00 $4.00 for ages 12 and under...


  • Discount Skate Night

    01/31/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Skate for $1.00 an hour every Wednesday during our Discount Skate Night! Wednesdays • 6-9pm A...


  • Open Skate Discount Night

    01/31/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Open skating session for all ages at a discounted rate! Admission is $3. Regular skate rental fee...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    01/31/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Tot Time

    02/01/2018
    05:30AM — 10:30AM

    Tot time is designed for toddlers and other little tikes, 6 years and younger, who may not be com...


  • Walking Program

    02/01/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/01/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Skyzone Toddler Time

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Toddler Time

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Little All Stars

    02/01/2018
    10:00AM — 10:50AM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Wee Play & Learn

    02/01/2018
    10:00AM — 11:15AM

    Come with your child to play, meet other families, and talk one-on-one with child development exp...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/01/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • New Baby & Me

    02/01/2018
    01:30PM — 03:30PM

    This group for new moms and their babies meets weekly. Moms can join in open discussion on topics...


  • Creative Kids

    02/01/2018
    03:15PM — 04:00PM

    Elementary-aged children are invited to join us for books, activities, and a craft. For more info...


  • S.T.E.A.M. -N- Thursdays

    02/01/2018
    03:30PM — 04:15PM

    Discover science, technology, engineering, art and math through activities. This month's theme: S...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    02/01/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Walking Program

    02/02/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/02/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/02/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • First Free Friday

    02/02/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for Free First Fridays, whether you are new to the area, new to the Pavilion, or even a r...


  • Little All Stars

    02/02/2018
    06:30PM — 07:20PM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Teen Night at Skate City

    02/02/2018
    08:00PM — 11:00PM

    This session is directed toward, but not reserved for, middle to high school aged skaters.