Life should be easy when you have a mommy, daddy, the pitter-patter of little feet and the family dog all under one roof, right? Unfortunately, that's not always the case! Redbook magazine reports researchers from UCLA went on a mission to find how families with two working parents, at least two kids and a mortgage manage to keep it all together --peacefully!
1. Low-Stress Couples Don't Divvy Up the Chores. The key word here is "we" --no keeping score, no keeping track --happy households are focused on their common goals and partners pitch in without being asked.
2. Low-Stress Families Find Small Moments of Togetherness. While "bonding" may be nice to look at on the front of a Hallmark card, the true connections don't have to made on family vacations at Disneyland. Taking time to help out with homework, brushing your little girls' hair or making everyday tasks like laundry fun can go a long way.
3. Low-Stress Parents are Role Models --Not Pals. When mom and dad are patient and supportive of one another the kids can feel it and will be more inclined to act the same. Furthermore, parents who delegated chores to children as opposed to asking which ones they'd prefer suffered through fewer tantrums.
4. Low-Stress Moms Make Dinner From Scratch. Researcher MARGARET BECK discovered that almost every family spends an hour getting supper on the table, whether or not they're using "convenience" foods. Have a picky eater in the house? Put the little ones to work --Ms. Beck found that kids who assisted in food preparation always ate what was served and the mood in the house was lighter with a little team effort.
5. Low-Stress Moms Take Five Minutes of Me Time. The working woman is under a lot of pressure, but unwinding for just a few minutes is a key to keeping mom healthy.
6. Low-Stress Families Watch TV Together. If the gang wants to kick back with some tube time, don't sweat it! Believe it or not --laughing together over a sitcom or checking out your favorite sports teams can be a great way to bond.
7. Low-stress Families Embrace Daily Rituals. Routine and continuity helps families thrive. Reading bedtime stories every night, saying what you're thankful at dinner or any "little moment" repeated daily makes life comforting.