When parents or guardians provide structures in the home, they are simply putting up ground rules and establishing their authority over the family in a healthy and responsible manner so as to encourage the growth and development of the family.
Barack Obama said in one of his past interviews for CNN, while sharing parenting tips,
"Give them unconditional love and then give them some structure and morals. As soon as they can understand words, you start giving them some assignments," he said. "Bath. Eat your peas. Pick up the toys off the floor. By the time they're 16, they turn out pretty good."
These little instructions constructively build up as structures and rules that shape the children and the family at large.
They also in turn lay very solid foundations for posterity.
In this article, we will be looking at five smart ways you can set up long term structures for posterity in the family, to ensure smooth sailing even in their absence.
1. Create Rules and Routines in Your Home
Setting rules in your home is vital to creating a more organized and peaceful home. Consistent rules and routines will help set better structure for your home. From dinning rules, sanitary habits, wakeup times to chores, these systems will help both parents and children to improve their relationships, work well together and ensure better flow in the daily running of the home.
It's important to also keep things positive and also add some fun to these rules and routines, especially if you have toddlers and teenagers around. In addition, create different kinds of rewards to help motivate everyone in the home, from movie nights, gift cards to additional stipends. Such incentives make family members feel appreciated, special and encourage them to be consistent and follow through with any given task.
Note that your children will most likely follow your footsteps and will apply some of the lessons they learnt at home in their future homes. So it's important to think beyond the present, but also impact positive values that they can carry on to the next generation.
2. Have Family Meetings
While vacations are far in between, family meetings are often. Family meetings are great opportunities for every member of the family to check in with each other, learn about what's going on in each other's life, build bonds, air grievances or discuss solid future plans. These can be scheduled events or you can make them impromptu and allow any member of the family to call a meeting if they feel the need.
Here, you can come up with mission statements to remind every family member about your core values or what you love most about each other. It is simple and fun to develop as a family.
These family meetings shouldn't be overlooked as they help create guidelines that positively impact the individuals, family and society at large. For example, when dealing with teenagers, it's important to educate them about societal ills, violence, sex & drugs, drunk driving and its consequences, and more. Impacting such knowledge and rules are not only for themselves but will eventually act as a compass for the way they act and help transform them into better individuals and citizens.
3. Write your will
Every day all over the world, people die without wills. And if they happen to have assets, the court and law would probably have to make the decision on their behalf regarding where the assets go and there's a chance their decision favours family members you'll rather not entertain.
Think about your family, assets and estate taxes as some of the most important reasons why you need a will. You don't want to leave your family hanging or your years of hard work in the hands of people that might treat it carelessly.
Please, regardless of your age, ensure you write your will as soon as applicable.
Most people actually know that they need a will, but they don't know how to go about it. The first point of call is to decide whether to write your will yourself or get the services of an attorney. Most simple wills can be written personally, but some require professional assistance and help.
Now if you have decided that you would need the services of a professional, you should take the plunge. Start writing your will today, at least for the sake of your family.
4. Get Health Insurance for Family Members
Yes, you are not planning to get sick. But it's inevitable. Flu, a stomach bug, you may need to visit the hospital at some point. So, even though there are a lot of ways to cut living costs and save some money, bailing on health insurance is not one of it because quality health care can be very expensive.
This is why we have health insurance to help you pay for health care. It covers you and your family financially should an unexpected, probably terminal illnesses show up. You also enjoy routine checkups and preventive care like vaccinations if you have health insurance.
My point? You need health insurance because, it saves you money and gets you better medical care. You have peace of mind about the future knowing that you and your loved ones would receive proper medical care should the need arise, it could be a quick need for an emergency dental visit or a visit to the optician.
5. Go on Vacations Together
At least once in a year.
It may be the Bahamas or the wildlife resort in the next state. The most important thing is that you all are together, bonding over activities and routines. A family that plays together, most likely stays together! Vacations are the perfect opportunities for family get together bonding time. Here you'll be away from distractions from work and other social functions.
Now, if you have lots of young people in the family, vacations are easy to go on. The children readily agree, even if it's a trip to the backyard. They are young and impressionable. However, they won't be kids forever. As they start to get older, they want to spend more time with friends rather than family. So it's important that you take your children on vacation, not only nuclear ones, even at tender ages to help build the perception that family time is important and should be traded for anything.
6. Show Care and Appreciation
It's exciting when your loudest cheerleaders come from within your family. They are there at your basketball game or your sister's spelling bee contest, holding up placards with your names designed with markers in purple and white, your favorite colors.
Whether as a child or an adult, such show of love and care solidifies your ties with home. Appreciate one another. Call on birthdays. Or anniversaries. Or just because!
These structures are essential in ensuring the continuity of the family and in turn the larger society. Don't wait until the oldest member of the family dies and then you begin to run helter skelter or call for haphazard meetings to discuss final arrangements. Plan today to have a reunion party, just to establish communication between old and new family members or to celebrate milestones achieved.