Happy Home Habits- August

August 28, 2008


 Once Upon a Family has developed the happyhome habits to 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.

Use the  Family Worksheets to complete the following happyhome habits:


Once a Day: Conversation Starters ~ Family

What is one of your favorite family vacations and why? How would you feel to be all alone without any family? What does it mean to say that families come in all shapes and sizes? What is the best and the worst thing about your position (birth order) in the family? 


Once a Week: Family Fun Night ~ Our Family Flag

Point out the American flag every time you see one with your children. Explain that the flag stands for our country and that it’s one way to tell the whole world who we are. It also shows we’re connected to each other as Americans. Because our flag is symbolic of many things, we treat it with respect. At home, study a flag more closely and explain to your children that each part of the flag has a meaning. The 50 stars stand for the 50 states. The 13 stripes stand for the 13 British Colonies whose citizens decided in 1776 that they wanted the freedom to govern themselves rather than be ruled by the King of England. Use construction paper, felt or fabric and select the colors together. Instead of stars, cut or embroider symbols that represent each member of your family-a favorite hobby (ballet, baseball, golf, gardening) or a characteristic (sweet, determined, hard-working, fun). Make sure every family member participates in the creation of your “Family Flag” since it is symbolic of the most important group in your life – your family. 


Once a Month: Summer Vacation Tradition ~ Our Perfect Family Day 2008

 Every person in your family has a different idea of how they want to spend a day off. To make your Family Day truly enjoyable by all, you have to include something fun for everyone. Have each family member pick two things they would like to see included in the Perfect Family Day. Maybe six year-old Annie wants waffles with whip cream for breakfast and a tea party with her bear friends. Little Johnny wants everyone to help him build a robot Lego, and then pepperoni pizza for lunch. Dad wants to go on a hike and have his favorite apple pie for dessert, while Mom chooses a movie with caramel popcorn, all cuddled on the couch together. Take a photo of each activity and collage them onto the card provided. Add personal anecdotes to bring the different “personalities” to life. Make it a family tradition to do this every year and create a book of Perfect Family Days for future generations to enjoy.


Once a Year: Leaving a Legacy with Your Family Story

 Use this booklet to record a personal story or life lesson that relates to Family. Share it with your family and talk about what that experience was like. Acknowledge behavior you see in your home that represents a commitment to family 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

As a family, send a thoughtful note card to someone who has done something special for your family or who reminds you of the importance of family. It might be Grandpa, a friend or the nice neighbor next door. Perhaps they lent you money or helped out when your family was in a crisis, or offered to baby sit at the last minute. Perhaps they invite you to Sunday dinners and make you feel a welcome part of their family. A little appreciation goes a long way.


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