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7 Essential Rules to a Happy Family Life

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They Don't Have to Be the Same as You


Do you look exactly like your mother? Your father? What about your brother, sister, and children? No. Of course not. You may have your mother's nose or your father's smile or your sister's funny little toe, but although you share half your genes with each of them, you have another half that are entirely different. You are unique. I always tell my children (jokingly, of course), "You're not really my child. You're just my half-child."

Same goes for personality. You may find it difficult to express emotion like your brother or be tidy bordering on the neurotic like your mother, but your combination of personality traits is unique.

So why is it that we assume that our family will feel the same way about things as we do? Why do we get irritated or disapproving when they do something we wouldn't? Not only are most us of prone to taking our family for granted, we also rarely do what we should--stop and think "What might mom be feeling now that this has happened? Is there anything she would appreciate me doing or saying?" Note the emphasis on what they would like, not what you want to do.

Next: Let Go of Your Role

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From The Rules of Love Copyright © 2009, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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