happy family

There are few things better than connecting with your family in wonderful ways, so here are four quick tips on how to make the most of the time you spend with those you love the most:

1. Unplug and reconnect: Watch this short video about unplugging to reconnect with your familyThis is a tried and true lesson of many a happy family. Then stop watching and make everyone -- especially yourself -- unplug everything for the rest of the night. Bonus points if you play a board game without getting bored.

2. Accept each other: Imagine how much closer every family would be if everyone was accepted for who they actually are, not criticized for who they're not and never will be. Watch this extraordinarily moving TED Talk by Andrew Solomon about loving children who are different and get inspired to be more accepting and loving of those around you.

3. Eat together: Research shows that kids who grow up in families who eat dinner together on a regular basis have lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem. Try some easy recipes from Real Simple. Consider naming your nights to keep it easy and fun. Or go to Dinner: A Love Story and Dinner: A Playbook for all the inspiration you'll ever need to keep family dinner interesting and delicious.


4. Copy others: For some great ideas on how to get through rough times or learn strategies that everyone else seems to know about but you, read about what makes other families happy and successful: Bruce Feiler’s The Secrets of Happy Families and Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.