Happy Families Bounce Back

I have heard people say “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I’m not sure I like that saying, but there is some truth in it. Not only will it you stronger, it will make you happier as well. That’s right. Happy people are resilient people. Happy people bounce back. They learn from adversity and grow stronger through it. That’s true for families as well as individuals. Happy families, like happy individuals, bounce back and grow from adversity. So, if you want a happy family, build a resilient family. How can you help your family develop resiliency? Try these five ideas.

  • A father helps his daughter on the playgroundSupport one another. Families that support one another have greater resiliency. Support one another in pursuing interests. Support one another through difficult circumstances. Support one another in times of joy as well. Rejoice with family members who rejoice. Weep with family members who weep. Problem solve with family members who face problems. Encourage one another. Supporting one another demands that you develop an intimate awareness of the lives of your spouse and children. So get involved.
  • “Humble up” and ask for help. Model your willingness to let others help you. Let your spouse and children experience you asking them for assistance, advice, and support. Sure, you may feel vulnerable asking for that assistance. However, your spouse and children begin to see how important they are in your life and how much you value their input. They will also learn that resilient people seek out and accept help when needed. Be the role model for resilience by asking for help.
  • Think straight about failure. Failure is not the end of the world; it is temporary. Failure is not the end of the road; it is the beginning of an adventure. It is a learning opportunity. As such, you can celebrate failed attempts and the lessons learned from those attempts. Celebrate the lessons learned, modify your effort, and do it again. That is bouncing back. That is resilience. That will bring greater happiness.
  • Recall family stories of adversity overcome. Every family has stories about overcoming adversity: the aunt no one thought would finish school but did; the grandfather who overcame alcoholism; the mother who struggled with reading in school but eventually learned to read and now enjoys it; the father who overcame inadequate material resources to finish college…. You know the stories in your family. Share them with one another and point out the fact that overcoming is in your blood. You can bounce back just like others in your family have bounced back.
  • Celebrate family victories. Victory means much more than success. In fact, the greatest victories may come in the face of obstacles and seem like “just getting by” at first. However, on further observation you will find that these times of “just getting by” laid the groundwork for greater victories to come. So, celebrate when family members overcome difficulties. Celebrate when family members put effort into some pursuit. Celebrate “come back” experiences, effort invested, and attempts made (whether “successful” or not). Celebrating these experiences is celebrating resilience!


These five tips can help your family develop the resiliency to bounce back to happiness. For more ideas to develop family happiness, see:

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