The happyhome habits make it easy and fun to build loving connections, instill strong family values and create a legacy for future generations. These habits are based on the “protective” factors” that decades of research have shown will strengthen families against the negative inﬂuences in today’s world.
Using the power of rituals and traditions, the happyhome habits are things we can do with our families once-a-day, once-a-week, once-a-month, once-a-year and once-in-a-while. They are simple, fun and they give us peace of mind. We know we have accomplished the most important things for our loved ones.
|Once a Day: Conversation Starters ~ Courage What is your greatest fear? How can you overcome it? Have you ever stuck up for a friend who needed support? What was the hardest thing you ever had to do? Name a person, living or dead, who has displayed great courage.|
|Once a Week: Family Fun Night ~ Uncle Sam Hats There is nothing more fun than a silly tradition the whole family can participate in. Here is one for the Fourth of July that encourages creativity and makes for wonderful annual family photos. It’s simple. Every family member must make his/her own Uncle Sam’s Hat and wear it for a group portrait. You can allow everyone the freedom to create anything they want (as long as it is red, white and blue) or you can choose themes for each year: paper hats, glitter hats, flag hats, moving hats, tall hats, symbolic hats, funny hats, etc.). If the Fourth of July involves several families getting together, each family can design their own “family hat” and make duplicates for the rest of their family members to wear. No matter what, make sure you capture this patriotic pastime on film for everyone to enjoy.|
|Once a Month: Fourth of July Tradition – Conquer with Courage Start a very valuable tradition that can make a big difference in your life and that of your loved ones. Dedicate this month to talking about courage and how our fears limit the quality of life we experience. Have everyone write down anything they can think of that they are afraid of or would like to do if they weren’t afraid. Older family members can help the younger ones.
Pick out one fear to try to conquer for the month and share it with the rest of the family. Be careful not to criticize or make fun of each other’s fears. Listen, validate, and be supportive. Help each family member think of ways to conquer their fear, instead of suggesting your own, and simply ask how you can be helpful. At the end of the month, the family should talk about how everyone has done and ceremoniously dispose of those little slips of papers.
|Once a Year: Leaving a Courage Legacy with Your Family Story Record a personal story or life lesson that relates to courage. Share it with your family and talk about what that experience was like. Acknowledge acts of courage you see in your home during the month by recording them in your booklet. You will be surprised at how much the recognition means to family members of all ages.|
|Once in a While: Expressions of Love – Acknowledging Courage As a family, think of someone you know (a friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member), who has been courageous in some way and use this card to let them know you admire what they did. Taking chances, making tough choices, trying new things, standing up for what we believe in are all examples of day-to-day opportunities to use courage. A little appreciation goes a long way.|