Considering how soaked our culture is in the dreary rhetoric of personal discontent, the respondents to a survey reported by Family Circle sound surprisingly cheerful in the way they've assessed their own lives. For instance, 81% said they're satisfied with their family's standard of living, and 78% were satisfied with their family's future prospects. Overall, the Family Circle Family Index rated quality of life 'excellent' for 19% of people, 'good' for 38%, 'fair' for 17% and 'poor' for 26%. (The results are presented in the magazine's Nov. 23 issue.) Analyzing the sources of happiness and unhappiness in families' lives, the survey found people very satisfied with their personal relationships and very uneasy with aspects of life that involve the larger community. Just 52% of the respondents gave a 'good' rating to their neighborhoods, for example, while 80% of married respondents gave top marks to married life. Not surprisingly, healthcare scored as a 'trouble spot' - although just 9% rated their own healthcare as 'poor' (versus 28% rating it 'good' and 63% rating it 'fair'). Extrapolating from the polling data, the magazine and its panel of experts devised these seven Secrets of Successful Families: 1. They make time for relaxation. 2. They strategically plan for their financial future. 3. They take vacations together. 4. Husband and wife seldom disagree on how to spend family money. 5. They know how to express anger without hurt feelings. 6. Adults in the family do their arguing in private. 7. They feel connected to their neighborhood.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)