The Simple Things: 5 Easy Things We Do Everyday to be a Happier Family

Listen to Music

The mornings often start with a little music. Throughout the day we are using Google Home to play kid’s tunes, classic music, our favorite Taylor Swift jams and more. Accordingly to “Psychology Today”‘s Why Listening to Music Makes Us Feel Good “when we satisfy our desire to eat, sleep, or reproduce, our brain releases dopamine — the “feel-good” neurochemical involved when we experience pleasure and reward.Turns out this same chemical is released when listening to music.”

My kid’s love a little Bruno Mars, Beyonce, right up there with the Wheels on the Bus, a Whole in the Bucket and Baby Shark. Music is a way for us to all interact, engage, laugh, dance, smile and have fun together – even if the song is only two minutes long.

Swapping No for YES

‘Yes, you can play with this toy again tomorrow!”

“Yes, you can have a treat another special day!”

“Yes, we can play with sand again later!”

Instead of spitting out no’s all day, swap your wording around. It goes a long way. I literally feels better saying yes than I do saying no. Frankly, I like my kids hearing yes more often than no. There are a lot of no’s in their life – especially when it comes to hitting, pushing, grabbing and jumping off high places. I reserve my harsh and blunt “no’s” for things like that and add a little positivity into our day by simply swapping my no’s for yes (even when it means “no more ice cream today”).

We Read

Reading is a great way to bond, share quite time together, learn, explore, laugh and cuddle. Getting some reading in (and often some snuggles that way) is fun for all of us. Of course, I don’t want to read Caps for Sale eight times in a row but I want my kids to be happy, learn and love reading. I also want to spend time with them – this is a great avenue and doesn’t take very long.

A recent study suggests that reading together may lead to better behavior for kids and less harsh punishment from parents.

Get a Laugh In

There is so much focus on getting through the day, the mechanics of it all, the chores and tedious tasks at hand. There are so many ‘have to’s’ and ‘to do’s’ that we often forget to smile, laugh and play along the way.

Sometimes it is as simple as reframing the moment – putting on our shoes doesn’t have to be a stressful, annoying, hurried task. Reserve more time to get going and make it fun and laugh along the way. A tickle getting in the car seat, silly faces waiting in line at the store, a sweet little song together while putting away the toys. We can feel so pushed and rushed to get it all done, we forget that point of getting it all done in the first place. Quality time with our children and joy throughout our own day.

Hug Often

We are a hugging family. Franky, I think it makes us happier – even for that moment. When my kids are melting down about having to go inside after a fun time playing in the yard, I don’t scream at them for their fit. I offer them a hug. Sometimes I have to still carry them inside screaming, but we are still hugging in that moment. They might be flailing, but I am hugging.

When we leave. We hug. When we go to sleep, we hug. We hug when we are happy. We hug when we are sad. We hug for hugging sake.

Hugging is a way to offer support, love, comfort and connection. Some research suggests it releases positive hormones within us, actually making us happier. Because, science.