Achieving a happy family life involves creating conditions that several different people, often with drastically different personalities and lifestyles, can live with happily. In some cases, simple activities such as taking time to eat together and to occasionally have family outings are sufficient to bring about a happy family life. In other cases, particularly during hardship or conflict, it is necessary for family members to communicate with each other about their problems, even when they do not particularly want to speak with each other. Though it can be difficult to develop a happy family life, it can also be very rewarding and is generally considered worth the effort.
One essential aspect of creating a happy family life is respect. If any member of a family, including young children, feels that the others do not respect him, it will be much more difficult for him to attain any level of happiness in the family. It is important, therefore, for each member of a family to take the successes, problems, dreams, and preferences of the other family members seriously. While parental authority is often necessary to discourage bad or dangerous activities, it is also necessary for parents to at least respect if not encourage the individual desires and interests of children.
While mutual respect may ensure that family members can coexist peacefully most of the time, some degree of togetherness and cohesion are necessary to truly bring about a happy family life. Spending some time together as a family can give family members a chance to keep up on the events of the lives of the others. Eating dinner together a few times each week, for instance, is a great way to encourage a happy family life. Dinner provides an excellent time for family members to spend time together, talk, and swap stories. Other family outings, such as picnics, walks in the parks, visits to museums, or trips to shows can also encourage family harmony.
Even in generally-harmonious families, fights and disagreements occur from time to time. Different family members have different thoughts, desires, and preferences, and these can clash once in a while. Communicating through these issues is essential for maintaining a happy family life. Family members who talk to each other about their issues can often come to understand each other's positions and come to some agreement or compromise. During particularly bad fights or disagreements, it may be good to seek some kind of family counseling to expedite the process of attaining a happy family life once more.