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What Is a Family Lifestyle?

A family's lifestyle includes the type of meals they have together.
Family lifestyle includes what kind of activities a family enjoys doing together.
It's a good idea for families to sit down to a healthy meal together.
Unhealthy families can have negative or even toxic family lifestyles.
To foster strong bonds and a healthy lifestyle, aim to have as many family-centered meals as possible each week.
The activities that a family does together are part of their lifestyle.
An unhealthy family lifestyle can take place when people constantly argue with one another.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2014
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A family lifestyle refers to the way that families live and coexist together on a daily basis, and the habits and patterns that these people have as individuals and as part of the family unit. Family lifestyles can be healthy or unhealthy, and this does not just refer to physical health, but mental health as well. The way a family eats, for example, or the amount of exercise they get are part of a family lifestyle. Also part of this, however, is the way that people communicate with each other, the way they interact with each other, and the activities the family does together.

Sometimes, unhealthy families can have negative or even toxic family lifestyles. Homes in which one or more people are abusive, or where people constantly argue in violent or angry rather than productive ways, can all be representative of unhealthy family lifestyles. A family situation in which one or more people are addicted to drugs or alcohol is another example of a negative family lifestyle. Family therapy or other types of treatment are often required to change behaviors such as these, and alter the family lifestyles; if they can't be changed, divorce or changes in child custody arrangements may be necessary in some cases.

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Of course, there are plenty of ways that families can have a positive family lifestyle as well. Many families find that having dinner together every night, giving each person an opportunity to talk about his or her day, is a good way to develop a positive and healthy family lifestyle. This tends to encourage more positive, supportive communication than families who do not check in with each other on a regular basis. A family's diet is important part of the lifestyle as well, such as whether or not each individual makes an effort to eat healthy; thus, having a healthy meal together ensures that all members benefit from proper nutrition.

The activities a family does together are another aspect of family lifestyle. Healthy families who enjoy being active might enjoy playing sports or hiking, for example; others might simply read or watch TV together. Some families also attend religious services together. Family lifestyle should not imply that families spend all their time as one unit. One aspect of a happy family is that each person has his or her own interests and activities that make him or her feel fulfilled, and it is natural for some members to need more "alone time" than others. What constitutes a healthy family lifestyle certainly differs for people from different areas of the world and different cultures, and it is also important to recognize and respect this.

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Ana1234
Post 3

@pleonasm - It's just tough when someone is working multiple jobs, or they are a single parent. I don't think anyone should beat themselves up over not being able to spend a lot of time with their children, if that extra hour of work means they can afford to pay the electric bill.

But there are ways to sneak family time into the day. If nothing else, usually everyone will be home at breakfast time.

pleonasm
Post 2

@Mor - Not to take away the power of young people to change their family, but I do think this is mostly the responsibility of the parents. I know that parents often feel like the most important thing for their family is to provide a lot of money and of course it can be tough for the average family to get enough for security. But if they have that much, then I wouldn't work any harder than that. I'd spend the time with my kids and my family. Because most kids would rather have memories with their parents than memories of the material goods they were able to buy.

If everyone just works themselves to the point of misery for their children, they teach their children to do the same thing, and then no one will ever be happy.

Mor
Post 1

I wish my family had done more together when I was a kid. It's one of my biggest regrets that I didn't try to get us to go out walking or camping or something more often.

My parents were usually so tired after work that they didn't even really cook dinner. We'd just have some takeaways, or something that was ready to eat, and basically sit in front of the TV.

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