Use these strategies to add moments of laughing and joy to everyday family life.

We all want a peaceful, cheerful, even joyous atmosphere at home—but we can’t complain and yell our way to get there.

Here are some strategies that have success:

  1. As the comedians say always keep them laughing and wanting more. Try to do this at least once a day.
  2. Singing in the shower or maybe just singing. It’s hard to sing and maintain a grouchy mood, and it sets a happy tone for everyone. You may even find your kids joining in or asking you about that ‘golden oldie.’
  3. ‘Lights Out’ be sure you get enough sleep. It’s so tempting to stay up late to enjoy the peace and quiet after the kids go to bed. But morning comes fast, and you’ll be cranky without enough rest.
  4. Wake up before your kids. That means you can get yourself organized check email and get your stuff done all before they get up. It may be tough being the first to wake up earlier, but it will make a huge difference in the quality of your mornings.
  5. Try to cast answers as “Yes.” So many messages to kids are negative: Here are some alternates to use.

CALM DOWN – How Can I Help You

STOP CRYING – I Can See This is Hard for You

YOU’RE OK – Are You OK?

BE QUIET – Can You Use a Softer Voice?

DON’T HIT – Please Be Gentle

STOP YELLING – Take a Deep Breath Then Tell Me What Happened

DON’T GET UPSET – It’s Ok to Feel Sad

THAT’S ENOUGH – Do You Need a Hug?

I’M OVER THIS – I’m Here for You.

  1. Look for little ways to celebrate. Have special meal for example, you can make them quick and fun for everyone. Make it inclusive so everyone can participate in their own special way.
  2. Say “No” only when it really matters. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  3. You may remind yourself how fleeting this is. All too soon the age of strollers, magic markers and science projects will be over. The days are long, but the years are short.
  4. Be a treasure house of happy memories. This means keeping a few special things and getting rid of everything else! It’s much more important to be reminded of good memories. Mementos work best when they’re carefully curated. Come up with creative ways to keep these memories safe and easy to access. Keep a file for all special occasions, birth announcements, birthday invites, school photos, sporting events, first communion etc. This is a painless way to keep special documents in good order.

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