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Categories: Family

Want a Happy Family – Remember the Good Times

If you want to have a happy family, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, instead, remember good times in days gone by. Sometimes we forget that the classics are still around because they are good over and over again. Try to make your family happy by doing what worked in the past.

Tolstoy was wrong when he said, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Each happy family really is happy in their own way.

When it comes to having a happy family, there is no one size fits all. What makes everyone happy in one family, may drive the members of another family insane. Look at my family for example. It thrills us beyond all reason to sit around on Saturday afternoons and watch to gangster gospel rap videos from Los Angeles. It absolutely thrills us to watch the videos, sing the songs and dance. We watch the same videos every week. We sing the songs and one of us, (okay it’s me) always gets the same words wrong. The dancing we do will never and should never be seen outside our home. But it is pure fun, pure joy and pure happiness. No one in our circle of friends does this. But, it makes the six of us happier than you could ever imagine.

Think about a thing that your family did that made everyone happy. Was it a vacation? Perhaps there is a meal that makes everyone smile? Is there a certain game you like to play? Or is there a mall that is a family favorite? This is an important step in creating a happy family. Don’t worry if it is silly. The test is to determine what makes your family happy. You must take a good, long and objective look at what makes your family happy.

Remember the saying, “to thine own self be true?” Keep that in mind as you evaluate what makes your family happy. Don’t pay attention to what should make everyone happy. Actually think about what does make everyone happy. It may not be something fancy. It may be something as simple as pancakes for breakfast on Sundays or playing Uno on Saturday afternoons. Or it may be grand things like shopping sprees and trips to exciting locales. It doesn’t matter. Just figure out what does it for your family.



Once you have a list of a few things that makes your family happy. Figure out ways that you can do those things more often. Think about ways you can talk about the happiness makers. Make time to share stories and look at photographs of the happy things.  Go on the internet and find other stories, photos and videos about the things that make your family happy. Most of all, enjoy the fact that you have a family that can be made happy.

Keep in mind, creating the memories of events, things and places that make your family happy is great. It is also great to remember, relive, talk about and research those things. Sometimes you cannot do the things that makes the family happy. For our family, if we are away from the internet, at the dinner table or on a trip we cannot turn on the videos we enjoy so much. But, we can talk about them. We can laugh at how one of us always gets the words wrong to a particular song and how much we like the wrong version better. We can laugh at how mom loves “Mami Linda” and makes everyone listen to it at least three times in a row every time.

Even when you cannot actually do the thing that makes everyone happy, sharing the memories and reliving the good times will make everyone happy again. Walking down memory lane is such a wonderful journey. That is why when old friends get together, even 30 years after college, they still enjoy telling each other the old stories about the old college days. It is why best girlfriends still laugh about how they met, the clothes they wore and the people they dated. It is why a mother will always smile when she thinks about how she felt when she saw each of her children for the first time.


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Janeane Davis

View Comments

  • I am always telling my son that! I tell him it's important to focus on the good, not on the bad....sometimes he sounds like an old man, complaining, complaining :)

  • It is so important to keep your family focused and happy. We do very similar things.

  • There really is no one-size-fits all. I think you instinctively know what's right for your family and you should go with it.

  • I lvoe your motivational posts - they always give me pause for thought.

    • Thank you! I am glad I am able to give you something that makes you think.

  • I make sure I take lots of pictures with and of my family because every picture has a good story to go with it. And every moment matters even if its just eating dinner together! We love doing a lot together but we all have our moments and different hobbies we like to do ourselves. Either way good or bad times, love and happiness always conquer and survive through the bad times.

    • Yes! Memories of the good times and past victories help us to make it through new trials and tribulations.

  • Remembering the good times is always important. When doing so, the bad doesn't seem quite as bad anymore.

  • This is so important. Not every family enjoys the same things, but more important than all the "stuff" and material items is the memories that you make. Well said!

    • Stuff comes and goes, but the memories last forever and are portable!

  • I like the idea of figuring out what our family really enjoys doing together. Although, we really would be pretty easy. Honestly, any quality time together...all of us, including my husband who works 80+ a week would be precious time! Our 3 kiddos miss him a lot, so when we get him, we really enjoy that time whether it's watching a movie, walking the dog, or actually going somewhere special.

    • It is great that enjoying each other's company works so well for your family. It is something you can manage when you do have the time together.

  • So true! Every family has different activities that make them happy, and they should just enjoy them!

  • Great tips and I totally agree, what makes one family happy doesn't necessarily work for another. Growing up, my family loved to play board games together, but so many of my friends thought that was ridiculous.

    • We enjoy board games also. I liked them as a child and enjoyed sharing that experience with my children. During the games, the children are off guard and we have snuck a lot of life lessons into games of Spelmanopoly.

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