Thu | Aug 17, 2017

A better family for 2016

Published:Sunday | December 27, 2015 | 12:00 AMJody Anne Lawrence

As we approach a new year, we look to make our New Year's resolutions, most of which are left by the way side in a few months.

This year, let us focus on what matters - our family unit. We solicited the expertise of relationship specialist and sexologist Dr Sidney McGill for tips on how to maintain the family unit and make sure that for 2016, this is a resolution that we keep.

1 According to Dr McGill, each person should learn to meditate. In doing so, they should also do a self-evaluation. You should look at what causes your pain or anger and in identifying that, you will learn to adjust yourself.

2 Communication and responsiveness is key. He was emphatic that one should also pay attention to non-verbal signs. You need to understand the emotional undercurrents of what your partner is saying in order to understand them.

3 Take yourself out of the equation and get to know your partners more. Be accepting of their idiosyncrasies. Instead of trying to make them a better person, you must be the change you want to see by accepting instead of changing.

4 Trust. If there was ever a time when this was ever broken, now is the time to fix it. Be transparent with your

partner so that you can regain this trust that you need to survive.

5 Emotional well-being of children is important. Having a good relationship with your partner automatically improves the well-being of the child/children. Seeing parents getting along gives them comfort.

6 Set boundaries and be consistent. Do not change rules based on emotions. Consistency is important for stability with a child, and both parents should also be a united front.

7 Show affection to the child/children. Hug them and give them an encouraging pat on the back. While discipline is important, love should always outweigh discipline.

8 This might be the most important rule of all - do things together. Start by having breakfast or dinner together, play games and pray together. Doing things together encourages unity.