5 Ways to Make a Positive Impact on Your Family

There's still time to make this year a positive one for your entire family.

Cheryl Butler
3-minute read

A new year is well under way and regardless of whether you set resolutions and goals for the upcoming months, there is still plenty of time to start living from a place of gratitude and appreciation.

Here are five easy ways you can make a positive impact on your family’s overall lifestyle this year.

1. Catch Them Doing Good. Take note of all the wonderful things happening around your home each week. Do you have a child working harder in school and getting noticeably better grades?  Perhaps your spouse or partner is making an effort to help the kids with homework or brings you a cup of tea after dinner so you can relax a bit more. Maybe your kids are looking out for one another a bit more rather than squabbling.  If you’re open to looking for the good, you’ll find it and, when you do, be sure to compliment your family for these things. Genuine praise goes a long way in keeping your family’s spirits healthy and happy.

2. Create an Encouragement File. Receiving a compliment feels terrific, especially when they’re unexpected and heartfelt. Get into the habit of saving any written notes of thanks and praise that any of your family members receive. This could include good report cards, notes from a teacher written on an assignment, or a journal where you can record nice things that family members said or did for one another throughout the year. Periodically review this file with your loved ones while sharing dessert or something fun like homemade milkshakes to encourage everyone to keep doing great things.

3. Lower Your Volume. If you want to make an instant impact of positivity for your family, start lowering your voice when you need to communicate with them. We are often so rushed and harried that we bark orders such as, “Hurry up and get into the car, we’re late!” or we screech “I don’t want to tell you again to pick up your dirty laundry,” from a room across the house.  When we talk with a quieter tone, it can instantly bring more peace and harmony into your family’s atmosphere.

4. Surprise Them. Who doesn’t love to receive an unexpected surprise, such as getting a box of your favorite sweets or having someone else say they’ll cook dinner that night?  Surprising your family with little treats such as a new flavor of decadent ice cream or leaving your kids movie tickets under their cereal bowls some morning, “just because” not only shows your family how much you care about them, it sets a great example of how doing loving things for others can create a steady mood of good feelings.

5. Treat Yourself Kindly. Parents generally set the tone for the atmosphere in their home.  If you tend to be stressed out and cranky by nature, that only ripples down to your children.  If they interact with a calm and steady mom and dad, it in turn shows them you are enjoying life and makes them act more joyful too.  Take care of yourself by getting some “me” time on a regular basis whether that’s soaking in a soothing, hot bubble bath, reading your favorite authors, going out with your friends for a glass of wine, or having regular date nights with your spouse.  When you are kind to yourself on a regular basis, you’re becoming a positive role model for your family.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.