For some, a big family is a real blessing. For these families, three to five children is not uncommon. There is often more than two generations living under the same roof. Money is often tight, and savings nonexistent.
So while there are plenty of people around to do household chores, there is a downside to big families. It can be a real challenge keeping everyone maximally happy on a tight budget. Never mind necessities like school books and lunch boxes. Extracurricular activities like sports and band can get very expensive very quickly.
You only have so many televisions in a single home. Inevitably, someone will not be able to keep up with their favorite shows. Dietary needs and desires are different. So in a big family, there is always something being served that someone doesn’t like.
There is the old saying that you can’t please all the people all the time. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to meet the important needs of everyone all the time. When trying to keep everyone in a full house happy, here are some of the things to keep in mind:
This is not about the rights of a citizen in a country. Rather, it is about the body politic of a family structure. Everyone in a family has certain rights within that context. And one of those rights is to be able to access the house in the same manner as everyone else.
In a house with stairs, some people will have difficulty accessing all parts of the house. There may be older family members living in the house that can no longer make it up the stairs as well as they once could. And there is a possibility that one of those sporty teens end up with an injury that lasts for a few months.
If this is a family home that will be in the family for a few generations, you should consider installing a residential elevator. Not only does it add value to the home, making it fully accessible to future buyers, it affords everyone living in the home the right to access the whole home like everyone else. So when budgeting for happiness, make sure that everyone’s family rights are health with first.
Mobility issues are not the only forms of special needs with which we have to contend. Health considerations for the family will include dietary needs. If someone in the family is glucose intolerant, that means buying special food. It might be cheaper and make more sense if everyone was on the same special diet. Everyone might need to eat gluten-free or lactose-free diets.
Sometimes, creating the maximum possible happiness for everyone requires everyone to make sacrifices. There is a middle ground between placing everyone on a strict diet and letting everyone eat whatever they want. If one person in the house can’t have ice cream, it makes for an unhappy situation when there is always ice cream in the freezer.
If one person in the house can’t see well, you buy a big screen TV or sit a little closer to the screen so that the one person isn’t singled out. Happiness is making the people with special needs feel as normal as everyone else.
One cannot experience maximum enjoyment without equality and fitting into the group. But let’s not forget the importance of having fun. Everyone in the family needs their own expression of fun. Even if it is just a small thing.
If everyone has their own smartphone or tablet, then everyone can keep up with their own favorite TV shows. All the major streaming music providers offer a family plan so that everyone can keep up with their favorite music.
Everyone can still gather around the table, or the TV for those special dinner and a movie nights. Everyone will be more willing to gather around and play a family game if at other times, they can play their favorite games alone or with friends.
In general, people without special needs have many paths to happiness and enjoyment. People who are physically limited have few paths. So the key to happiness for the whole family is making sure that everyone has equal rights, feels included and not like an outsider, and has some fun outlet that is all their own.