By TMoM Team Member Dennette Bailey

2022 is my personal year of positive impact. My earlier blogs this year focused on creating a positive impact in our day and life. This month’s blog is about practicing five habits to make a positive impact in our immediate family.

Many might agree that goals and accomplishments can bring us a sense of satisfaction and contentment. However, if we do not have the support of our family members when accomplishing our goals, the satisfaction is hard to come by. It helps to remember an old adage when seeking or desiring the support of our family members. It truly is better to give than to receive. Keeping that in mind, the five habits to practice making a positive influence in our family include:

1 – Make a commitment to be present on your terms

Guilt, shame, and regret are worse sometimes than the actual deed. Any caregiver that has had to miss a child’s school event or ask a babysitter to pick up a sick child from school for example, knows the feeling that as the caregiver you are not doing your caregiver “duty.” Sometimes we will miss something because there is not another option, or we perceive that there is not another option. Sometimes the children or the spouse don’t even complain about what we have missed but we feel bad that we have missed something. It is that shame, guilt, or regret that follows us through the rest of the relationship.

None of us are perfect. Nevertheless, if we can decide what will be our line or what will be the one thing that will not be missed, then we can use our energy to focus on the positive instead of all the things we see as a negative. It might be more productive to make a decision for example, that we will not miss birthdays, or we will commit to that yearly vacation or monthly date, so that we can teach ourselves, as well as our family members, to focus on the positive attributes of the relationship.

2 – Allow your immediate family to verbalize what they need from you

So many times, we have fixated on what we want for our family instead of acknowledging what they say they need from us. This can look like always making their lunch for example, when what they would prefer is that we come into their bedroom each night, even if they had a bad day, and express our love through hugs before bed. This is an excellent opportunity for an actual conversation with our immediate family members in which we have a periodic conversation asking them, for example, what their favorite thing about the relationship is or what they appreciate most about when we spend time together. This is an impactful method to address our loved one’s needs, and not what we think they need.

3 – Show love

In this manner we lift the people in our family up. We don’t have to brag to others (although letting our immediate family members hear us tell someone else how great they are is an immediate pick me up) but telling our family how much they mean to us is a sure method to acknowledge their attributes. It also means being sure to avoid harmful words that can bring our family members down. Also, be careful that this doesn’t look like allowing our family members to think they can take advantage of us. Our children feel love when they know that we will also discipline them. Our spouses or significant others also feel loved when we don’t allow ourselves to become victims of abuse. Showing love to your significant other means not allowing them to abuse you.

4 – Prepare for the unexpected

When you love your family, you must also do uncomfortable things like prepare for the event that should not be able to provide for them. There are plans that allow you to consider your own health needs should you be unable to work or if you should demise unexpectedly. Consider talking to a specialist for these types of insurances so that your family will continue to feel the love you have worked so hard to instill in them.

5 – Treat yourself well

If our family members are going to feel good about themselves, they must see us feeling good about ourselves. Our children’s ability to have a healthy self-esteem is very dependent upon our own. In many instances children mirror their caregivers. Be mindful that treating yourself well is broad. It is not just kept nails and hair. It is also, for example, speaking well of yourself, keeping your car clean and making goals. Yes, sharing your goals, not just your achievements with your family, demonstrates to them that you want them involved in your future. A positive future is one filled with a happy and positive family!

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