satisfying relationship with family

Family is rarely uncomplicated. As we grow up, it doesn't always get easier. But keeping yourself and your goals for your familial bonds in mind can help you get along better. Your family might just surprise you with these few tips.

1. Involve your dad in your life
As we get older, most of our dads tend to blend more and more into the wallpaper.

If he's around and you've got a decent relationship with him, find ways to involve him, instead of leaving him to molt into the easy chair while you and your mom chatter like 13-year-olds.

For instance, ask him to flex his handyman muscles by fixing that loose shelf, or ask him for an opinion on that weird noise in your car.

2. Digitize, then share the memories

Forget photo albums. Today's memories have gone high-tech, with DVDs and home movies produced on your home computer.
So get out your camcorder and start filming, particularly those older relatives who may not be with you much longer. When they do pass on, make copies and send one to each family member.

3. Make the trust a living one

You need to set up a living trust now.
Having a living trust ensures that when you die, your financial wishes are immediately carried out without the cost or delay associated with probating a will or intestate (no will) estate.

4. Practice saying no to relatives
Always find yourself saying yes when your sister asks for money? Then practice 10 ways to say no in front of the mirror before you see her. Here's a couple to get you started:

"No, I can't. All my money is tied up in retirement accounts and I can't take it out without paying a penalty."
"No, sorry, but I'm going back to school to get my master's and I need every cent."
"I'd really like to, but our water heater just burst and we have to recarpet the basement."

5. Learn your family's health history
We know, we know, you don't want to hear another single word about your dad's chest pains, your mom's high cholesterol numbers or your brother's arthritic knee.

But there are good reasons to listen to them besides being a good offspring or sibling and lending a sympathetic ear. You'll get to find out what medical issues you might face later.

As a matter of fact, it's not a bad idea to pursue information on the health of all your extended family members even further by asking about chronic conditions that affected your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even nieces, nephews and cousins.

Compiling a family medical history will give you and your kin insight into the various diseases and conditions that are common in your family.

It can be helpful to doctors in diagnosing a medical condition, determining what medical tests to run and preventive measures to take, and calculating the risk you, your children, and other relatives have of certain diseases.
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