Three simple ways to be kind to your family

Day 41 of #LiveWell2017


Families take on many forms. Some are bound by blood and heritage. Others are created by chance or circumstance. Either way, family is connection, stability, love. Here are three simple, but powerful ways to be kind to those people you call family.

  1. Acceptance. We may be kin, but we don’t always see eye-to-eye. Family doesn’t mean we are all the same. We may have different views on religion, politics, social issues, television shows, or how to organize the pantry, but we all have something unique and valuable to share with each other. Being able to accept our differences and respect each other, whether we agree or not, is the ultimate way to be kind to our family members.
  2. Patience. Your little one is taking too long to get her shoes on so you can shuttle her off to school. Your dad forgot where he left his glasses – again. Your husband just locked his keys in the car. These are each great opportunities to take a breath, put on a smile, and say “no worries, we’ll fix it together.” In every stressful situation, getting angry and frustrated doesn’t help make it better. A calming breath and a little patience will help everyone solve the problem and feel loved, too.
  3. Gratitude. There is nothing easier to do as you move through your day than to say thank you. Two little words can carry a lot of weight. Saying thank you shows your family members that you are paying attention. A simple thank you acknowledges their existence and their contributions to your life. Say it when you mean it, and mean it often.

Bonus tips:

  1. Mail surprise packages. If your family lives all over the country like mine does, you probably don’t get to see each other as often as you’d like. A fun way to let them know you are thinking about them between visits is to mail a surprise goody package not on a holiday or special occasion. It could be a tin of homemade cookies or a book or a variety pack of treats and clothes – anything that will make them smile will.
  2. Call ’em up. Whether you live near of far, a phone call is a good way to stay in touch and is more personal than an email or text message. Just hearing my son’s voice is a gift I love, and as my parents get older, hearing how they spend their days helps me feel closer to them.
  3. Give a hug. Sometimes just walking up to your spouse or your kid and giving him a hug can make all the difference in his day. As Nike says, just do it.

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