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Sit beside your partner when making decisions

Sit beside your partner when making decisions
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Scientists have found that people sitting next to each other were more likely to collaborate than those sitting across or diagonally from each other.

Turn down the lights

Turn down the lights
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Dim lighting can make people feel relaxed and safe, so they may be more revealing in conversations.

Connect generations

Connect generations
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Research shows that kids who know more about the successes and failures of their kin are more resilient and better able to moderate the effects of stress.

Cushion your blows

Cushion your blows
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A study from MIT, Harvard, and Yale shows that people are more flexible and accommodating when they sit on cushioned surfaces. My wife and I now have difficult conversations on the sofa, and we have family meetings at the breakfast table, which has padded seats.

Invite Grandma over

Invite Grandma over
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Grandparents are the “ace in the hole” of humanity, says Sarah Blaffer Hardy, an evolutionary anthropologist. A meta-analysis of 66 studies found that mothers who have child-care help from grandmothers have less stress, and their children are more well-adjusted than those who don’t.

Play the “bad & good” game

Play the “bad & good” game
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Over dinner, each member of the family should report on a positive and a negative from the day. A growing body of research has found that by watching others (including Mum and Dad) navigate ups and downs in real time, children develop empathy and solidarity with those around them.

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Adopt a soldier’s mentality

Adopt a soldier’s mentality
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“In moments when the needs of the family conflict with your own needs, you have a choice to make,” says Jason McCarthy, a former Green Beret. “You can either turn towards or against one another.” Use conflict as a chance to show loyalty and build happy families.

Here are 6 ways to build a stronger relationship.

Create a chore flowchart

Create a chore flowchart
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Make three columns and label them, respectively, “Stuff to Do,” “Things in Progress,” and “Things Done.” As family members begin working on an item, they move it from the first to the second column, and so on. “I guarantee you’ll get twice as much done,” says Jeff Sutherland, co-author of the Agile Manifesto.

Reject rigidity

Reject rigidity
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Research shows you have to be flexible to encourage happy families, whether with the strategy you use to get everyone out the door in the morning or with the techniques you use to discipline, entertain, or inspire your loved ones.

Think you’re clever? If you laugh at these dark jokes, you’re probably a genius.

Use sports for good

Use sports for good
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Parents have the most important job when it comes to a child’s experience with sports, says Jim Thompson, founder of the Positive Coaching Alliance. After the game, avoid deconstructing your child’s mistakes. “Say, ‘You didn’t get a hit, but I think that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t give up easily,’” says Thompson.

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