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    The New Year normally brings with itself new hopes, dreams and goals, and yes, the usual “New Year’s resolutions.” Here, we share some things you can do to make this year one of your best yet:

    1. Grow your love.
    This year, focus on strengthening your relationships with the people you love the most – your spouse, children, parents, siblings, close friends, etc. Commit to spending time with your loved ones on a regular basis, especially your spouse and kids.

    Growing your love for your spouse
    For the wives (like this author), you may want to first find out about some things husbands wish their wives knew. The same goes for the husbands – knowing the things your wives wish you knew could make all the difference in your marriage.

     Let’s not forget too, that to have a joyful marriage, sex AND intimacy matter very much – in fact, they are crucial in making a marriage work.

    Of course, being a wife myself, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind my fellow wives (and myself too), that there are also certain attitudes we take on that can harm our marriage. Let’s take the time to check ourselves, so that we can grow in our relationship with our spouses. Also, learning how to decode our hubbies’ communication style will help us avoid any major misunderstandings.

    For the couples who feel that they need a little bit more romance in their lives, there are dozens of ways you can spice up your marriage (here are five things you can do).

    Growing your love for your spouse can include all of the “tips” listed above, but it can also mean something as simple as going down memory lane, reliving your first meeting and first date, and recalling why you said “I do” in the first place.

    Growing your love for your kids
    For those of us with kids, we know all too well that there are days when we feel our “love tanks” running low, especially when there are one or more children under three all under the same roof! Here are a few ways we can “refill” those “tanks” and remember that our children need all the love, care and attention we can give them:
    a. Bond with our kids even during “non-special” occasions. Such occasions could be when we take down our Christmas decór, or even just read to the children before bedtime. Even rainy days can be a time for fun family bonding!
    b. Turn off the TV, computer, and all other electronic gadgets and enjoy bonding with our kids over family board games, or maybe even traditional indoor Filipino games.
    c. Explore ways that you could maximize the time you spend with your kids. For parents of preschoolers, and even 6 to 7 year olds, homeschooling could even be a desirable option or lifestyle choice. Most homeschooling parents can attest to the close bond that they share with their children – and vice versa. I have personally heard quite a few homeschooled children, who are in their teens or are young adults now state matter-of-factly that their best friends are their parents. Isn’t this something all of us parents wish our own kids would say about us?
    d. Helping your children deal with their emotions will ultimately help your relationship with her. Parent-child relationships will benefit from parents helping children to develop good habits, and to have good manners. Knowing how to deal with younger kids’ tantrums will also help strengthen Daddy’s and Mommy’s relationships with their little ones.
    e. Hug your children several times every day. There is a certain “magic” in hugging. Learn more too about the “language of love” and discover the different ways we can show our love for our children.
    f. Fathers, take note: it is crucial that you have special bonding time with your sons as well. If you don’t know where to start, you could try these ideas.

    Of course, one cannot give what one does not have in the first place. Make sure that you also grow your love for yourself this year. Invest in yourself; live your dreams; take lots of breaks to de-stress; pamper yourself on occasion. Loving yourself is not about being vain, but taking care of yourself so you can also take care of others.

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