Dr. Decia Dixon, licensed psychologist, explains in her blog, “Happy Children and Families,” that when people show kindness, it helps them and their loved ones feel peace and gives them hope that their families can be successful, that people are good despite their weaknesses, and that love given and received can facilitate positive outcomes (Dixon, 2012). When we show love and kindness to the ones we love the most, it helps us to feel happy and feel like we can do hard things like have a family. It also helps us look past the hard times and perceive a bright future with our family.
One of the great things about friends is that they don’t usually live with us, and we don’t have to deal with their oddities and idiosyncrasies day in and day out. If we are tired of them or they keep spilling punch on the carpet, we can go home or send them home, but our families are forever buzzing around us. Because families are so near to us so much of the time, they have a special way of exasperating us faster and more efficiently than anyone else. I remember telling my husband in a heated dispute that he brings out the worst in me. I let him know my siblings couldn’t even irritate me like he could. Family doesn’t go away. In fact, sometimes I think they stay just to annoy us. The beauty in family life is that we can choose not to be annoyed and instead to love our family and find happiness with them.
Do we perceive our family and treat them as if they are diamonds in the rough, full of spectacular and sensational potential, or do we perceive and treat them as if they are hindering our world? Do we treat them like our honored guests or do we see ourselves as martyrs in our own homes? Our family is our world and deserves our best love. It is essential that we treat and see our families as though they are more significant and more important than the red stain on the chair they just created on accident. Our perceptions will dictate our own satisfaction, and our actions regarding those perceptions will shape the attitudes, behaviors, and reactions of our entire family. If we see our families as perfect in all their imperfections and love and treat them accordingly, we will find our happily ever after because we will be happy with what we see and what we have. Our families will find joy and love as they perceive themselves to be our number one priority.
One discouraging evening, my husband was depressed about his imperfect parenting and family until he had a sudden change in perspective. He realized perfect parenting and family life is not found in perfect children, perfect parents, or a perfect home, but that a perfect parent or family is one in which spouse and children know they are loved.