5 Top Tips to a Strong Family Relationship

1. Set a good example

reDon’t swear when you’re annoyed; if you do, expect your children to do the same.
Don’t ask your family to tell a white lie and cover for you – if you do, don’t be surprised if they tell a little fib as well.


Children copy everything, so behave appropriately in front of them.
Allow your children to pick up good qualities and habits.


2. Build on communication

“You never listen to me” is a complaint often used by children to parents.
Listen well; don’t be too keen to express your views.

Avoid distractions; children feel they have not been heard if you’re too busy to listen or focus during their conversations.


When your children are ready to talk – look beyond their words and figure out what emotions are involved.
Encourage them to communicate their feelings, expectations, challenges, sorrows and joys.


3. Using the right discipline

Aim for balanced discipline, where you still install firm rules and boundaries, whilst respecting your children’s views.


  • Deal with bad behaviour straightaway.
  • Avoid negative comments.
  • Avoid using threats to gain control.


4. Attention Seekers

All children need positive attention, cuddles, praise and words of love spoken to them.
Paying more attention when they

How to change your child’s surname

yuhuWhen a child is born to married parents one or both of them will register the child’s name on the birth certificate. The surname, such as Smith, Patel, Cohen, is the name by which the whole family unit is known. Children normally take the surname of their father unless their mother wishes them to have a different surname and the father agrees to this.

Unmarried fathers do not have to register their children’s birth and have no independent right to have their name entered on the birth certificate. Unmarried mothers can only enter the father’s name if they:

  • both agree and sign the register

  • each produce a sworn statement, or

  • have an appropriate Court Order

After a divorce children normally keep their present surname but their name can be changed. When some children in the stepfamily have different surnames, the parent and stepparent may want everyone in the new family unit to have the same surname.

The law on family names

You cannot simply change a child’s last name when you remarry or set up a

Relationship problems

deeeeHave you reached a point where you are questioning where your relationship might be going, or have things changed and you aren’t sure how to get your relationship back on track? It is natural for relationships to change over time, but it can very easy to slip into complacency and to start taking each other for granted.

Having children can pile on even more pressure a relationship especially when there might be limited time for you to spend with your partner. It might be that you have to be a little more organised to ensure that you do make this happen. It is easy in any relationship for things to become a little too comfortable but it is really important that you do still make time for your partner to try and keep your relationship alive.

How to keep your relationship alive

Communication is key in any relationship – if you are feeling neglected or just simply need a hug talk to your partner. Try and make some time to spend together. If this means being a little more organised and getting the kids to bed

Parent relationships tips for acceptance

Acceptance means living with and valuing differences in others. It can make a real difference to your relationships with your partner, family, friends and children. It can also help you and your partner adjust to the changes that parenting brings.

Acceptance: why it’s important for relationships

Acceptance is a crucial part of keeping relationships healthy.

Acceptance means that, as partners, you value each other’s differences. You agree to disagree. And you can pursue your personal needs in a way that’s good for your overall relationship. Not only in the early days – when differences are part of the attraction – but throughout the life of a relationship.

It’s easy to lose sight of your relationship when all of your energy is directed towards children. When there’s stress or unhappiness in a relationship, it becomes even harder to work together and share parenting tasks.

Acceptance makes it easier to appreciate the positives and resolve differences, leading you back to greater intimacy and care for each other. So acceptance is an attitude that can reduce the stress and challenges of working together to raise children.

Acceptance can greatly improve your partner’s readiness to

Building good family relationships

Good family relationships help your child feel secure and loved. This is what children need to learn and grow.

Being a parent can be one of the most difficult (and rewarding!) jobs around. It’s not something that you can be perfect at. Most parents are doing the best they can for their kids while juggling work, friends, managing a house, and lots more.

But it’s worth trying to improve the relationships you share with your child and other family members. Good family relationships are more than just enjoyable for their own sake. They:

  • make children feel secure and loved, which helps their brains develop
  • can help to overcome difficulties with children’s eating, sleeping, learning and behaviour.

Even for the busiest of parents, there are plenty of easy things you can do to develop good family relationships.

Spend quality time together

  • Use time together, such as mealtimes, to talk and share a laugh.
  • Have one-on-one chats with each family member to build and strengthen individual relationships.
  •  Do fun things together as a family on a regular basis.
  •  Make decisions together about what to do for special events such as birthdays.

Communicate in positive ways

  • Talk about

7 Valentine’s Day Flowers that Beat Roses


Red and pink tulips symbolize fresh beginnings, says celebrity event designer Preston Bailey, making them great to give when you’ve just started a romance. A perfectly scarlet tulip represents “perfect love,” according to one Turkish legend. Tulips can also help if you’re in the doghouse; smooth things over with yellow tulips (cheerful thoughts) and encourage forgiveness with white tulips.


Bailey says tropical arrangements like anthurium or orchids are reminiscent of the far-off places they hail from (Hawaii, Brazil, the Amazon Basin), adding an exotic hint of fantasy to your floral mix. Orchids in particular are delicate and graceful, representing love, luxury, beauty and strength.


The yellow petals and open face of this big bright flower symbolizes the sun itself. An entire bouquet conveys warmth, happiness, adoration, and lasting love.

Gerber Daisies

Daisies typically look innocent and fun, but a red one is a sweet and unexpected choice to express love, says Bailey. Grab a multicolored bunch to say “I admire you,” “thank you,” “I love you,” and “you make me happy” all at

Marriage Advice From the 1950s That Still Applies Today

No nagging

“Nagging causes more unhappiness in families than extravagance, poor housekeeping, and infidelity put together.”—Dorothy Carnegie, author of How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead  (1957)
“If you must criticize, do so privately and without anger.” —Edward Podolsky, author of Sex Today in Wedded Life (1947)

Be generous

“Love is concerned with giving. Abundantly and lavishly.”—Dorothy Carnegie, author of How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead (1957)

Let small gripes go

“Good-humored acceptance of things as they come and a refusal to be upset over trifles strengthen the fabric of love.”—Dorothy Carnegie, author of How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead (1957)

Make up in the bedroom

“Married couples should not forget the importance of climactic sexual relations as a means of reducing tension.” —Dr. Clifford R. Adams, author of A Complete Guide for the Bride-To-Be (1952)

Create an island of love

“Let’s not get so bogged down in the endless routine of housekeeping that we lose sight of its real purpose: to create a small island of love, security, and comfort

Here’s the Most Polite Way to Split a Bill and Etiquette Advice for Other Modern Annoyances

When was the last time you sent a thank-you note to a friend after being invited over for dinner? Forget? You know why? Because you probably never did. No one does that anymore. Somewhere between unfriending and Instagramming every aspect of our lives, the rules of decorum that we’d all lived by changed. Well, we’re going to correct that. We polled our friends for the etiquette conundrums that vex them most. Then we asked experts to assess the correct way to proceed. Oh, and if you like what you read, feel free to send a thank-you note. That would be nice.

 For Whom the Bill Tolls
You’re out to dinner with friends and order a measly hot dog—“hold the bun.” Everyone else orders foie gras, lobsters, and Ketel One martinis. The check arrives. Now what?

Oh, to live in Germany, at least when it’s time to pay the tab. There, says Siobhan Callahan, an American who teaches English in the town of Bremen, “the assumption is that everyone will pay separately.” In fact, Callahan says, generally the waitress comes to the table at the end of the meal and announces to each person,

4 Powerful Ways to Use Body Language for Better Relationships

Studies have shown that people in power positions—those sitting higher than their partners, putting their feet up, or lacing their fingers behind their necks—have increased feelings of superiority, while people in lower-power poses, such as sitting lower, are defensive and resentful. The lesson? Mirror your partner’s posture to convey collaboration and cooperation.

Watch your partner’s mouth

“When a person has something to say, the brain sends a message to the lips and tongue to start shaping the sentiment,” David B. Givens, Phd, author of Love Signals, told Cosmopolitan. When you notice a person pursing puckering his or her lips, “You’re seeing thoughts expressed before he even has a chance to come out with the words.”

Build trust with your palms

To convey trustworthiness to your partner, approach him or her with “open” body language, according to The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman. Point your feet toward your partner during conversation, smile often, and gesture with your palms showing.

Ease arguments with touch

Making physical contact with your partner can literally strengthen your connection.

7 Things Lucky People Do That You Don’t

They’re people magnets

They're people magnetsiStock/gpointstudio
The more people you know, the more chances for a friend to come through with a lucky break. In one study, Richard Wiseman, professor of psychology and author of The Luck Factor, showed participants a list of last names and asked them if they were on a first-name basis with at least one person with each name. Of the subjects who considered themselves lucky, half were able to tick off eight or more names. Only a quarter of the participants in the unlucky group could. “Lucky people talk to lots of people, attract people to them, and keep in touch,” Wiseman told Health.com. “These habits result in a ‘network of luck,’ creating potential for fortuitous connections.”

They trust their gut instinct

In one study, British researchers found that our gut instincts are often credible and stem from real physical reactions in our body, such as increased heart rate and sweat. Participants in the study were asked to try to win a card game they had never played before. The game was designed to

Why Do Adult Siblings Stop Speaking The Psychology Behind the Not So Rare Phenomenon

Hope Rising used to dread holiday dinners with her family. Her older sister made each meal miserable, with snide comments about nearly everything Rising said or did. After one particularly insult-laden meal, Rising’s father asked her sister to apologize or leave. She left, husband and kids in tow.

That was when Rising decided the relationship was over. It took 14 years and a fatal cancer diagnosis for the sisters to speak again.

Blood Enemies

In many families, there comes a time when a decision is made that someone is done. Sometimes childhood dynamics can metastasize into toxic resentment. Sometimes an awareness dawns that you have never liked the person passing the mashed potatoes and you see no reason to keep trekking halfway across the country to see her. Sometimes an aging parent’s needs—or the prospect of an inheritance—fire the burner under simmering dysfunction.

The number of Americans who are completely estranged from a sibling is relatively small—probably less than 5 percent, says Karl Pillemer, a Cornell University professor. Yet only 26 percent of 18- to 65-year-olds in an Oakland University survey reported having a highly supportive sibling relationship; 19 percent had an apathetic relationship,

10 tips for healthy families and relationships

Marriage and Family Therapy Week in Colorado. Colorado State University marriage and family therapy experts have tips about how to keep relationships running smoothly.

Tip No. 1: Take care of yourself. We all know that when you get on an airplane the announcement reminds us that in case of an emergency, to put our own oxygen mask on before we help the person sitting next to us. This is a good reminder for our daily lives as well. If we do not take care of ourselves, we will have trouble being there for the ones we love. So what does it mean to take care of ourselves? For some people it means getting exercise, for others a hot bath, and for some curling up with a good book. Whatever nurtures you be sure to do it a little bit each day. When we take time to take care of ourselves, we are more present and available for others.

Tip No. 2: Be mindful about the relationships in your life. Practicing mindfulness (which some may call prayer or meditation) refers to taking a few minutes on a regular basis to stop, breath, and reflect on the

Drugs what are the signs

To avoid making assumptions or worrying unnecessarily, it can be useful to be able to recognise the signs that your child may be taking drugs.

The following changes in behaviour or appearance could be a sign that something is wrong. However – even if you think you’ve noticed some or all of these signs, it’s important not to jump to conclusions. It may not mean that your child is taking drugs – it could just be part of the usual growing up phase as your teenager comes to terms with new hormones, new responsibilities and a new identity.

  • Your child may start asking you for money, or cash could start going missing with no indication of what has been bought.

  • You may find unusual equipment lying around the house, such as torn cigarette packets, small sealable bags or empty aerosols.

  • They may experience a lack of appetite or you could notice sores or rashes around the mouth or nose.

  • Your child may experience mood swings, start staying out late, or begin socialising with new friends.

  • They may appear drowsy, lack motivation, and lose interest in their personal appearance.

If you’re worried, the best

How to help your child if they are overweight

Obesity among children is on the increase, triggering a whole range of health problems. But we also know what a sensitive subject weight can be. Could even mentioning a straining waistband on your child’s school trousers trigger hurt feelings, a quest to reach size zero, or even a lifelong eating disorder? Little wonder, then, that many of us just keep quiet and hope the problem sorts itself out.

“Parents are reluctant to broach the subject for fear of making it an issue,” agrees child obesity expert Dr Paul Chadwick, a clinical and health psychologist and Clinical Director at MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it!) – a new national initiative to combat child weight problems. “But it already is an issue.”

According to the most recent studies almost a third (31%) of all children between the ages of two and 10 are overweight or obese. As they grow, so does the issue – 35% of 11-15 year olds are classed as overweight or obese. Government experts predict that if the trend continues, by 2050 more than half of boys and 70 per cent of girls could be in the overweight or obese category.

How to help overweight children

Understanding puberty

With puberty happening earlier, do you know what to expect from your child when hormones start to kick in? With advice on coping with the changing behaviour of a hormonal child, and tips on supporting boys and girls through this challenging time.

We often think of puberty as a specific event – the first period for a girl, the voice breaking or the first wet dream for a boy. In fact, puberty is a process and often takes several years with those landmark events coming along some years after the process gets under way. The process commonly starts for girls around their tenth or eleventh year and for boys around their eleventh or twelfth year. But it just as usual for both sexes to be a year or so earlier, or later.

Boys and girls experience similar changes – human bodies have more similarities between sexes than differences. It’s useful for parents, and their children too, to be aware of this, and of the particular differences, so even if you have daughter(s) or son(s) only, it helps to brush up on the full range.

Early signs of puberty

What comes first? In

Helping your child stay connected with their culture

Living between two cultures – a ‘British’ way of life and the culture your parents or grandparents grew up with, can be a rich and fulfilling experience – but there can also be conflicts and challenges. When teaching our children about their heritage and the traditions we would like to see them continue, it can be difficult to balance these with the more ‘English’ traditions and ways of life that they are growing up with and embracing. Simple things like food through to language show just how complex this can be.

“I need more information in cultural issues, how to blend the two cultures, and still keep your origins.”

Living, studying and working in Britain, obviously shapes some of our values, lifestyle choices and even beliefs. However for second and third generation (whose parents or grandparents respectively, were immigrants) Black and minority ethnic (BME) people, there are countless other factors contributing to our belief systems and everyday way of life.

“Children from different backgrounds are bound to act differently due to religion, race, etc.”

 Religion, race, traditions, clothes, language, food, film and music – can hold great significance in a large

How to involve children in decisions during divorce and separation

If you have negotiated a plan for the year or a period of time add the dates to a calendar for your children. If children feel they have contributed to the plan or know where they will be at a particular time, they will hopefully feel more at ease during the transition stages from one home to the other.

Involve older children in the decision-making whenever possible. You may need to try and work out ground rules with your ex over the bigger issues such as leaving older children unattended. If you can talk to your ex try to keep them up to date on issues your teenager might not have mentioned such as exam revision, so they can encourage them to study when they come to stay.

Be prepared to review and change arrangements and to discuss these with your children as they grow older. Younger children may need frequent short visits, whereas teenagers may prefer to spend weekends with friends but have regular email or telephone contact and holidays with the non-resident parent.

Look out for any changes in your child. Are they more moody or withdrawn than usual? If so it may be due to the changes. Find

What to tell the children about your divorce or separation

If you’re struggling with a family breakup, how do you keep your children in the loop? Looking at family breakups from the child’s point of view, find out what they need to know, what they don’t, and how you can still be a parent for them during this difficult time.

Being honest with your children

It’s really important to talk to your children about what is happening with your relationship and to be honest with them. They don’t necessarily need to know all the details about why your relationship has broken down but rather what is going to happen next. Younger children may be happy with fewer details but you can give older children more information if you feel it helps.

Let your children know that they can talk to you about their feelings. They may feel angry or sad, but it’s important that they know it is okay and normal for them to feel that way. Children need to know that you will still both be their parents and that you will always put their needs first and love them.

Keep to your normal family routines

Stick to your normal schedules as much as possible, such as mealtimes, bedtimes, and things they do after school. This

Top ten tips for a happier family

1. Balancing work and home life

It’s not easy balancing your work and home life, but how you manage it can make quite a difference to your relationship with your family. Having a balance between work and home – being able to work in a way which fits around family commitments and isn’t restricted to the 9 to 5 – boosts self-esteem as you’re not always worrying about neglecting your responsibilities in any area, making you feel more in control of your life. Your family will be happier to see more of you, and you’ll have a life away from home.

2. Look after yourself

Parents often spend all their time looking after everyone else in the family and forget about themselves. If you don’t look after yourself, you can end up feeling miserable and resentful, and you won’t be able to give your children the support they need. Admit to yourself that you actually have feelings and needs of your own. It’s not selfish to treat yourself once in a while! It doesn’t have to be expensive – but putting aside some time to do just what YOU want to do, even if

Five myths about online dating

Once upon a time, online daters were mocked as lonely losers, or worse. Not anymore. Today, at least 40 million Americans are looking for love on the Web. But that doesn’t mean we know what we’re doing. Like sex, love and attraction, online dating is an object of fascination and confusion. Some commentators credit it with helping singles feel more secure and confident, while others blame it for “ruining romance,” “killing commitment” and contributing to the rise of the hook-up culture. As the head of OkCupid, I worked diligently to untangle many of the misconceptions about finding love on the Internet. But some persist; here are the most common.

1. Men aren’t interested in women in their 30s (or, God forbid, their 40s).

The raw data is undeniable. While women generally prefer men around their own age, men are most attracted to 20-year-olds, period. That’s why the Daily Mail calls straight women over 45 the “plankton generation” — at the bottom of the romantic food chain. Time magazine editors found the notion of men dating women in their 30s so baffling that they invited 15 experts to explain the phenomenon.

But as I learned at