You may know what family values are and even know the different types of family structures, but defining your family culture is a little more complex. Family culture is the combination of your family’s habits, traditions, purpose, values, beliefs, and choices. It is often impacted by experiences, personalities, and external influences. So, how do you create a family culture that is one of kindness and peace? 

Did you know that you, yes you, play a key role in teaching your kids about your moral values including kindness. Your family operates at a higher level when everyone is treating each other kindly. Kindness is worth the effort! But what is the true definition of kindness? Linda Kavelin Popov, author of The Family Virtues Guide has a wonderful definition: “Showing compassion and giving tender attention in ways that bring others happiness”.  True Happiness is something that comes from deep inside. It comes from our hearts. 

An optimistic person will always be happy. Some personality types are optimistic and always see the glass half full and some often see the glass half empty.   Moreover, a happy person will be able to find pleasure even in the pain. Also, a happy person doesn’t depend on others or external factors to make them happy. They will manage to be happy even in the worst situations. 

Daily Habits for Being Happier

So if you have kids that tend to be pessimistic here’s some daily habits you can teach them:

  • Smile. You tend to smile when you’re happy. 
  • Exercise. Exercise isn’t just for your body, it’s also for your mindset. 
  • Get plenty of sleep. Most children need at least 7 hours of sleep every night. …
  • Practice gratitude, by freely expressing appreciation to others and for the gifts of life. 
  • Give a compliment. 
  • Breathe deeply. 
  • Acknowledge the unhappy moments.
  • Encourage hobbies that bring joy.
  • For older children, encourage them to write in a journal. Or for younger children to draw pictures to express how they are feeling. 

When we show happiness we tend to pass it on to others in the family. Something as simple as a smile, high-five, or hug can turn someone’s entire day around—and cause a ripple effect you never thought possible. It can ripple right back to you; we all know that we receive the energy back that we put out. In order to receive happiness and fulfillment, we must first give it. When was the last time you told your Kiddos how amazing they are? Or told them that you love them? 

Where did my peaceful family life go?

As children get older, attitudes and behavior can change. Those teenage years can be a little unsettling for most families, especially if you have more than one teen in the family. For some parents that feeling of peacefulness disappears. When conflict arises to create a more peaceful space, try resolving it in a just and gentle way. What I mean by this is to speak quietly and think kindly by showing compassion. Just because your child is yelling at you, you can choose not to yell back. Speak with compassion and show that you care about how they’re feeling. Ask questions starting with “What and How”, and stay present in the moment. 

Sometimes it’s not about fixing the situation, it’s about allowing them to express their feelings in a safe way. For example, if you see they are upset, frustrated and angry, all you need to say is, “Gosh it seems like you’re frustrated and angry right now, what’s happened?” Or you can ask, “What’s those tears about?”

For creating a more kind and peaceful family culture it’s all about being able to find ways for you as a parent and your children and other family members to dig deep and find what makes each person happy. Then share this happiness with each other. And remember no one can make you happy, as happiness comes from the heart, so it’s about creating an environment that brings happiness. Here’s a few tips I’d like to leave with you with, for creating a more happy environment:

  1. Be a good listener.
  2. Live with love and gratitude.
  3. Give hugs.
  4. Give a back massage just for the heck of it. 
  5. Bake cookies.
  6. Tell jokes. Here’s one…”What do elephants wear to the beach? Swimming trunks”
  7. Forgive by overlooking mistakes and being willing to move on with a clean slate. 
  8. Give high fives.
  9. Practice patience by waiting peacefully knowing that things will turn out right.
  10. Create a new way of thinking by saying to yourself, “Well that’s one way of looking at it, what’s another way?” 

For those parents that would like to join my parenting Facebook group you can go here Parent with Teens, Tween and Anything In between. Please share with others if you have found this post helpful.  Also here’s one of my workbooks that you might be interested in called Creating a Culture of Kindness and Peace for children ages 12 yrs and over.  If you are a Homeschooling parent it’s a wonderful social and emotional learning resource. Together we can create a more kind and peaceful world.