Secrets of a Happy Family

Adapted from the works of:  Dr. Kenneth Condrell “The Unhappy Child” and Kay Willis “15 Secrets of Happy Families”

  • Parents who remain a couple after becoming parents
  • Know that ATTITUDE is almost everything
  • Know that resentment and grudges poison a family
  • Know that expecting perfection leads to disappointment
  • Make memories and spend TIME together
  • Value extended family and have outside support systems
  • Value communication
  • Believe in something greater than themselves
  • Have clear family values and rules
  • Have parents who know how to REFUEL, RESTORE, RENEW
  • Avoid a frantic, over-scheduled lifestyle
  • Understand the power of having dinner together as a family

What causes children to be unhappy?

Research by Dr. Kenneth Condrell shows there a few common themes that seem to make kids feel unhappy and disconnected from their families

  • Overworked and overscheduled families who have little tie for a fulfilling family life and no time for one-on-one time for each child
  • Children unprepared by their parents with the necessary life skills to be successful outside the home
  • Children growing up in conflicted, tension filled home often dealing with multiple family breakups, remarriages, mismanaged divorces and step-families
  • Depressed parents quarreling parents, angry parents, stress out parents.  Parents with untreated mental health or substance abuse problems
  • Peer rejection, peer cruelty, cyber threats, school yard bullying, and lack of friends
  • Children who feel like failures in school, sports, and other activities
  • Sibling abuse overlooked as sibling rivalry
  • Permissive parenting

Characteristics of successful single-parent families

Montana State University Extension

  • Parents accept the challenges presented to them as single parents  and they are determined to do their best
  • Make parenting their first priority
  • Discipline is consistent and democratic.  Parents are neither permissive nor too restrictive
  • Open communication and expression of feelings is emphasized
  • Recognize the need to care for themselves
  • Develop or maintain traditions and rituals for their families
  • Become financially self-sufficient and independent
  • Move forward with their lives in a positive way
  • Manage family time and activities successfully