Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Family

Five Tips for Family Happiness Part II

Kenneth N. Condrell, Ph.D.Child Psychologist

When a new year begins, people almost always think of how they can make their lives better. Parents, for example, often think of how they can improve their family life because it's true: some families are happier than others.

One tip I have found helpful is to have parents observe families they admire, and then to incorporate some of what they are doing in their own family.In an earlier article, I presented four behaviors happy families engage in more frequently than other families. And here, you'll find five tips from family researchers who've done exactly what I just suggested you do: they observed happy families and then recorded how these families behave.

Parents Continue to be a Couple

In happy families, husbands and wives do not stop being a couple once they become a mother and a father. Parents, in other words, nurture their marriage. They seem to know instinctively that as the marriage goes, so goes the family. Time alone is planned, and time to get away as a couple is scheduled. Anniversaries are celebrated and each other's birthdays are honored. I have observed that in unhappy families, parents have a hard time balancing their roles as husband and wife with their roles as mother and father until soon, the parents are living parallel lives.

Parents Avoid Holding Grudges

Successful families recognize and accept that getting angry with each other is normal. They know that a bunch of people of different ages living under one roof are bound to get on each other's nerves now and then, so they are quick to forgive and forget and to make up and apologize. They don't hold onto grudges and their anger for hours and days. In unhappy families, though, letting go of anger is difficult. Family members pout and give other family members the silent treatment or the cold shoulder for days.

Parents Follow Family Traditions

It's fun doing things together. It's also fun planning fun things to do. And once you have planned your special event, you have the pleasure of looking forward to the day when the fun will take place. This is what family traditions are all about: they are special ways of doing fun things at particular times of the year. When a family honors its traditions, they are, in a sense, saying to everyone in the family, 'This is how our family is unique. This is how we celebrate the holidays. This is how we spend our summer.' Unfortunately, unhappy families often lack traditions.

Parents Value Communication

Happy families talk to each other … they just do. They find time to have discussions and time to have family meetings. They listen to each other and they express their feelings to each other. Unhappy families are more like emotional loners, and their family members keep to themselves and rarely express their feelings. They seem unconcerned if one family member is sad or upset. I always tell families they must not ignore a member of the family who is unhappy—something negative is going on and it is likely to affect the whole family in a bad way.

Parents Establish Rules and Consequences

In successful families, the children know what is expected of them—rules and consequences are clearly stated. In unhappy families, the children never seem to have a clear picture of what is expected of them and what the punishment will be if they repeatedly break a rule. In these families, getting praised for just being good rarely happens, and rules remain vague and often are not consistently applied.Since September 11th, Americans have focused on their country and their families with re-newed enthusiasm. It is easy to see these days how patriotic everyone is feeling And there are so many stories these days of how people are finding strength and security by staying close to their families. Sometimes terrible events wake us up to what is truly important in life. We need to not take our family life for granted and instead focus on how we can inspire more love, more togetherness, more pride and more fun within our families.

Poll: Family ties key to youth happiness

NEW YORK - So you're between the ages of 13 and 24. What makes you happy? A worried, weary parent might imagine the answer to sound something like this: Sex, drugs, a little rock 'n' roll. Maybe some cash, or at least the car keys.
Turns out the real answer is quite different. Spending time with family was the top answer to that open-ended question, according to an extensive survey — more than 100 questions asked of 1,280 people ages 13-24 — conducted by The Associated Press and MTV on the nature of happiness among America's young people.
Next was spending time with friends, followed by time with a significant other. And even better for parents: Nearly three-quarters of young people say their relationship with their parents makes them happy.

When asked what one thing makes them most happy, 20 percent mentioned spending time with family — more than anything else. About three-quarters — 73 percent — said their relationship with their parents makes them happy. After family, it was relationships with friends that people mentioned most.

Profil Keluarga malaysia


Kini Malaysia sedang menghadapi peralihan kearah negara dan masyarakat maju. Dalam peringkat peralihan ini berbagai perubahan berlaku dalam ekonomi dan sosial. Jumlah penduduk Malaysia pada pertengahan tahun 1998 berjumlah dua puluh dua juta (22 juta) orang dan dijangka akan meningkat kepada tiga puluh tiga juta orang (33 juta) pada tahun 2020. Bilangan kanak-kanak berumur lima belas tahun ke bawah akan meningkat daripada 7.5 juta orang pada tahun 1998 kepada 10.1 juta orang pada tahun 2020. Hampir setengah daripada jumlah ini adalah wanita, 33.4 peratus kanak-kanak berumur 14 tahun ke bawah, 62.2 peratus perumur 15-64 tahun dan 3.8 peratus berumur 65 tahun ke atas. Bilangan wargatua berumur 60 tahun ke atas akan turut meningkat daripada 1.3 juta orang atau 5.8 peratus pada tahun 1995 kepada 1.4 juta orang atau 6.3 peratus dalam tahun 2000 dan seterusnya kepada 3.3 juta orang iaitu 9.8 peratus pada tahun 2020. Perubahan juga berlaku di peringkat keluarga dan masyarakat. Struktur keluarga hari ini banyak terdiri daripada keluarga asas (nuclear) dan bilangan isirumah dan keluarga pula semakin mengecil. Umur perkahwinan pertama di kalangan wanita semakin meningkat. Bilangan wanita berpendidikan tinggi yang menyertai tenaga buruh turut bertambah.Dengan secara langsung atau tidak langsung perubahan-perubahan ini telah mempengaruhi gaya hidup dalam keluarga dan masyarakat. Gaya hidup ini ada yang positif dan aga juga yang negatif. Nilai-nilai tradisi keluarga dan masyarakat semakin tercabar dengan unsur-uinsur moden agak asing pada keluarga dan masyarakat. Implikasi perubahan-perubahan ini ada yang bnaik dan ada yang tidak diterima oleh masyarakat dan ada pula membebankan. Kesan negatif yang dialami dalam zaman peralihan ini ialah dari segi masalah sosial dalam masyarakat.Penemuan-penemuan hasil kajian LPPKN ada menggambarkan sedikit sebanyak tentang perubahan-perubahan yang sedang berlaku dalam keluarga dan masyarakat kini.Hasil-hasil kajian LPPKN adalah sejak tahun 1988. Metodologi kajian adalah saintifik untuk menentukan sampel yang boleh diyakini dan kualiti data dipastikan melalui penyeliaan yang rapi semasa kerja lapangan dan pemerosesan data serta penganalisaan.


Malaysia sedang mengalami perubahan demografi akibat daripada pembangunan sosio ekonomi yang pesat. Proses ini telah mempengaruhi corak dalam pembentukan keluarga, kehidupan berkeluarga serta perubahan yang agak ketara ke atas komposisi dan struktur keluarga. Pembangunan sosio-ekonomi yang pesat juga telah membawa perubahan kepada kitaran hidup berkeluarga, caragaya hidup berkeluarga, norma serta nilai, perhubungan dalam keluarga, sikap terhadap perkahwinan, penjagaan anak dan penjagaan wargatua.Keluarga merupakan unit asas dalam masyarakat. Ia menyediakan jpersekitaran yang pertama bagi proses sosialisasi. Keluarga terdiri daripada sepasang suami isteri yang dihubungkan melalui ikatan perkahwinan yang sah dari segi agama, adat resam dan undang-undang, termasuklah anak-anak serta individu-individu lain yang mempunyai pertalian darah dan angkat. Pada dasarnya, terdapat dua jenis struktur keluarga, iaitu keluarga asas dan keluarga luas.Keluarga di Malaysia terdiri dari pelbagai kaum dan keturunan. Antaranya ialah keluarga Melayu, Cina dan India di Semenanjung Malaysia serta Iban di Sarawak dan Kadazan di Sabah. Sehubungan dengan itu, keluarga Malaysia mempunyai pelbagai gaya hidup berdasarkan kepada agama, kepercayaan dan adat resam sesuatu kaum itu.Agama Islam merupakan pegangan hidup bagi kaum Melayu di Malaysia. Justeru itu segala amalan dan budaya yang diamalkan oleh kaum Melayu adalah berdasarkan kepada hukuman Islam. Bagi kaum Cina, ajaran Buddha adalah ajaran yang dianuti oleh kebanyakan mereka manakala agama Hindu pula adalah agama lyang dianuati oleh kebanyakan kaum India.Kepelbagaian kaum memperkayakan lagi budaya Malaysia dan keharmonian hidup antara kaum membawa kepada asimilasi budaya. Ziarah menziarahi di musim perayaan dan penggunaan Bahasa Malaysia sebagai bahasa kebangsaan mempereratkan lagi perpaduan di antara kaum. Walau bagaimanapun, penggunaan Bahasa Inggeris serta bahasa-bahasa ibunda sesuatu kaum seperti Mandarin, Tamil dan bahasa-bahasa tempatan yang lain tetap digalakkan.Pembentukan keluarga bagu dan isirumah serta migrasi telah mengubah corak struktur keluarga di Malaysia yang dahulunya lebih kepada keluarga luas yang kini beralih kepada keluarga asas. Komposisi keluarga pula semaikn kecil iaitu tiga orang anak bagi sepasang suami isteri Sungguhpun masyarakat Malaysia hidup secara moden namun norma dan nilai ltradisi masih tetap diamalkan oleh kebanyakan keluarga. Perhubungan dalam keluarga juga mesra di mana hubungan anak-anak ldan ibubapa masa kini tetap hormat menghormati. Hubungan kekeluargaan dipereratkan lagi melalui ziarah menziarahi dan budaya balik kampung yang diamalkan sewaktu musim perayaan.


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