A happy, optimistic family enriches the lives of everyone in the family. It is within the family structure, whatever form that takes, that children first learn to manage their emotions, how to develop meaningful relationships, and how to cope with hard times. The more strengths a family has, the more likely it is that children will grow up to be caring and productive adults. Here are five ways to strengthen your family.

1. Stay mentally healthy – calm and happy parents are more likely to have children who enjoy school and have fewer emotional problems.

2. Be caring and concerned – parents who praise and encourage their children and take an interest in their school and the social life have children who do better in school and display positive social behaviors.

3. Spend time together – quality family time is important for the development of the family as a whole and also for each individual. Having fun together decreases the likelihood of drug or alcohol use and other delinquent behavior.

4. Keep a regular routine – children who have regular mealtimes and routine chores usually do well in school, have greater self-control and as adolescents are at less risk of demonstrating delinquent behavior.

5. Practice positive communication – warm, respectful communication that allows the child’s opinions to be expressed is associated with the well being of children and the family. Adolescents whose parents used praise are shown to be more likely to ask their parents’ advice and less likely to have emotional and behavioral problems.

Author's Bio: 

Lucy MacDonald, M.Ed., is the Canadian author of Learn to be an Optimist: A practical guide to achieving happiness. This book is filled with positive thinking, self-help ideas to develop a positive mental attitude so that you can live a happier, more successful life. Lucy is also the publisher of Positive Perspectives, a free monthly ezine designed to help you live, laugh, and learn. http://www.lucymacdonald.com