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The DIY Guide To Building A Family That Lasts Review

‘The DIY Guide to Building a Family that Lasts: 12 Tools for Improving Your Home Life’ is a book written by Dr. Gary Chapman, a counselor, and Shannon Warden, a professor. Fueled by their passion for helping families, the two worked together to write this book with the hope of providing families with 12 essential tools to help improve home life.

Have you ever watched a home improvement show, on television? The most exciting part of any home improvement show is the big reveal – that moment when a drab, run-down house becomes a breathtaking new home. What if you could have that with your home life? Just like those shows, this book has empowered and reminded me that I don’t need a new family, but rather, I need a new set of tools to help improve family life, and more specifically, help teach us to communicate more effectively with our family members.

Is it really possible to have the home life you want with the people you love?

That’s what the DIY Guide is all about. In it, you’ll find practical tools for transforming your home life and dramatically improving your family’s culture from Shannon Warden and Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times #1 Bestseller The 5 Love Languages®. Each chapter teaches you a new home life skill and pairs it with a home improvement metaphor that makes it fun and easy to remember.

You can’t hire a contractor for this work, but if you’re willing to put in the sweat equity (hard work), you’ll see results fast. Don’t wait any longer. Get started today and give your relational space the renovations it deserves.

Here are the tools I will be adding to my family’s toolbox:

Building Kindness
Share the load, the laundry load that is.

I think we all hope that your children grow up knowing how to share and get along with others, so we shouldn’t delay in teaching them the practice of kindness. Remember that if we fail to understand each other or learn to offer help especially when it’s needed the most, we can’t grow and work together in unity. Everyone would like to build a family less selfish, kinder, and more considerate, so make sure to add kindness to your home improvement toolbox and more specifically, consideration of your family’s needs.

Increasing Gratitude
Floors are made to be walked over, loved ones are not.

How we choose to respond to patterns of disrespect either enhances or chips away at our relationships. A willingness to apologize is a beneficial relationship tool that makes it easier to appreciate and support one another in our home improvement efforts. Research has consistently shown that gratitude contributes to better mental and physical health. Gratitude is a hallmark of positive relationships. Family is the most important place for people to feel that they belong and are appreciated.

Cultivate Love
Love tears down walls.

We can only improve our relationships and our home life by tearing down the emotional walls we’ve put between each other. No matter how busy we are, we simply cannot afford to put our physical and emotional closeness on hold for too long. By increasing love, you and your loved ones will feel more inclined discuss matters of the heart more openly as you feel safe and cared for. Remember, hammers can help to remove walls, but love helps to remove the emotional walls that separate and distance us from one another.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13.

Seeking Compromise
We can afford to disagree on colours, carpets, fixtures and faucets, they never go out of style.

Family life is full of different opinions. Sometimes we try to bypass conflict by going ahead with our own desires rather than consulting with the rest of the family beforehand, this is also known as the “ask for forgiveness later” strategy. These types of conflicts tend to be left unresolved and can kindle long term problems for couples. Stop fighting and understand that together, you are one team. Conflict is inevitable, simply because we are humans. We have different thoughts, feelings preferences, and opinions. This is where the home improvement tool of compromise is so helpful. Compromise can mean finding some middle ground between ourselves and the other person.

Choosing Forgiveness
Termite free and grudge free is the way to go if we want our houses and our home life to stand the test of time.

Resentment is a strong word and it often involves long-standing bitterness because of something we feel has been done to us. Resentment sneaks into our relationships before we’re even aware it’s happening. Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the hard cuffs of hatred, so we have to learn to forgive if we want to live happily ever after. We don’t have to be perfect to have a good marriage or be a good parent. But we do have to deal effectively with our failures, which takes learning to apologize, showing grace, and forgiving each other. There can be no long term healthy marriages without apology and forgiveness.

Improving Communication
Everything flows a lot easier through unclogged pipes. Are your lines of communication clear, clogged, or leaky?

Clear lines of communication are those in which people avoid confusion by listening with the hope of understanding and responding in supportive ways. Clogged lines of communication are those in which we are not effectively expressing ourselves or listening to others which leads to confusion. Leaky lines of communication are those in which we confuse others, by expressing ourselves with too much detail, too much drama, too much “me” talk. Do we love our loved ones enough to start listening and speaking to each other with respect, kindness, patience and love even in hard times?

Enhancing Trust
We can control thermostats’ we can’t control people.

Trying to control everything and everybody around us is not sustainable long term. We tend to waste precious energy while damaging precious relationships by trying too hard to control every aspect of our family. The wise use of the tool, “trust” will lead to a decrease in control-related problems at home, which means saving more of your energy for you and your family. Parents will need to trust their children with more age-appropriate opportunities for self-control. Children will need to trust that their parents have their best interests at heart when they allow or limit various freedoms.

Developing Compassion
The light of compassion is a light families can afford to leave on all the time.

If you and your family want to decrease hurtful responses, then get your toolbox ready for the tool of compassion. You may think of compassion as something you only show to the powerless and needy, but really, it’s a tool that will only help to grow your family and make it stronger than ever before. Dedicate time for each other to talk, listen, and validate each other’s feelings and ask how you can help. With increased compassion, we’re more willing to see and respond to each other’s emotional hurts with more kindness and sensitivity.

Increasing Patience
An open-door policy is only as inviting as the person on the other side of the open door.

Anger is not a wrong emotion – we should respect it and honor it. However we often do the wrong things when we are angry. Patience pulls us together, while impatience only further contributes to anger and pushes us further apart. Mismanaged anger destroys marriages, hurts children, and fractures friendships.

Getting Organized
Keep this; don’t keep that.

Decluttering our homes (and minds) helps to free up space that we forgot we had. Certainly, each family’s definition of disorganization and organization will vary, but generally speaking, most families function best when they have some level of organization or order.

Creating Fun
What good are city parks, walking trails, toys and games if we don’t actually use them?

You may feel tired at the end of each day; working, juggling extracurriculars, packing school lunches while making dinner, and ensuring your kids are bathed and ready for bed, and often it may feel like you’re living life through a task list. If this is you, you may feel that your spouse and children wish you would play and relax more. Remember to add more fun to your home improvement plans. You and your spouse need the same thing, of course joining in with your loved ones in their fun doesn’t mean you shouldn’t persue your own fun interests, but spending time creating fun helps build memories, and increases the bond between you, your spouse and children.

Building Connection
The kitchen is the heart of the home, connection is the heartbeat.

Emotional connection opens the door to the possibility of helping each other reach our goals and purpose in life. Connection with our family truly is the emotional nourishment that sustains us in life. You need to learn to recognise that life is short and that you have the amazing privilege of supporting each other as you live out your purpose-driven lives together.

This book was incredibly helpful and encouraging and has made an impact on how I approach my own family life. I highly recommend families check it out and start adding to their toolbox soon!

Get your copy of this book from CUM Books and other leading bookstores. 

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