Your family unit is just as important as your military unit. Cultivating Family Wellness involves supporting your children, having support strategies for spouses, partners or parents, and maintaining the health and unity of your family. A healthy family will:
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Setting a good example with your behaviors helps children adopt good behaviors and habits themselves. Children are more likely to listen and respond positively when you are a good listener and act in ways that promote good choices. An added benefit: teaching your kids to make good choices will create a more peaceful household for you!
Creating a safe, stable environment for children is critical for maintaining family wellness, especially during a parent or sibling’s deployment. Children who feel safe, loved, and supported are less likely to develop behavioral or emotional issues, and sustain better health and social interactions.
Devoting time to your family reasserts that you are emotionally available to your loved ones when they need you, building feelings of trust, affection, and loyalty. Families that spend time together are closer, more loving, and weather changes with greater ease than families that associate superficially.
Being an active participant in your household may be difficult if you’re coping with multiple or long-term separations. However, National Guard members that cannot contribute to household chores, financial obligations, or child-rearing due to separations can set up routines and strategies the family can maintain while they are away.
Being flexible and compromising when conflict arises in your family helps sustain family unity and avoid serious conflicts. Couples and families that master the art of compromise express mutual respect for one another and tend to experience less stress and anxiety related to arguments.
Putting family first can be achieved in a number of ways. For healthy families, that includes practicing forgiveness, opening up to your loved ones, recognizing when members of your family need help, and making good lifestyle choices that support your entire family (instead of just you).
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