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4 Keys to Building a Happy Family

4. Happy families...breathe.

Families do better when they have plenty of laid-back time together. Whether you're going for a walk, playing Rock Band, making cookies, or just hanging out, the best way to build happy family connections is simply to enjoy one another spontaneously. "You can spend your life defining your goals, setting your values, and putting all the right things into place," Haltzman says, "but you also have to take a step back and live a little."

Haltzman suggests setting aside time for unstructured fun. "I plan ahead for family time; otherwise it's too easy to get caught up in everything else," says Kat Henderson, 38, from Wilmington, NC. "It's not about what we do but just that we're together." That's why her schedule leaves plenty of room for lazy days at home. "And every evening after dinner, we go for a walk or play outside," Henderson says. "The dishes get done later."


Originally published on June 15, 2009


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