Joyful Family Life, run by Nicci Bontrager, has a unique perspective when it comes to family life blogging. With her Master’s degree in Psychology, Nicci helps families learn about marriage enhancement, emotional well-being, and parenting. As a practicing counselor and mother of three she understands exactly why families are so important. 

“We learn so much from our families,” says Nicci. “The home is where we learn how to communicate, how to serve, and how to love. When the home does not function properly, it is likely the family members will need professional help to repair the damage.”

Her desire to help as many families as possible is why her articles are all centered on three main topics, the ingredients to living a joyful family life:
1.     Marriage Relationships
2.     Personal Emotional Health
3.     Parent-Child Bonds
 
Marriage Relationships
Nicci puts a strong emphasis on continually developing your relationship with your spouse, because one day the kids will grow up and leave the house.

 “Sometimes women get so caught up their role of being a mother that they forget to nurture their marriage,” says Nicci. “Couples must spend time together talking about hopes and dreams, rather than only talking about dirty dishes and diapers. Those bonding conversations keep the marriage strong, so as time passes the couple still feels like man and wife, not just housemates.”

It’s these conversations that will help lead to a happy healthy relationship. She also recommends that spouses continually have uplifting conversations (complimenting, apologizing, speaking kindly), maintain their emotional intimacy, and share comforting touch like hugs, back rubs, and kisses.
 
Personal Emotional Health
The stresses and strains of parenting will always be a part of raising a family. That’s why it’s important that parents take care of themselves. It’s better for everyone in the family if you “eat meals, get enough sleep, and find time for hobbies and friendships too.”

Your personal time will help you keep your life balanced and allow you to stay positive despite the mess in the toy room or the dinner that’s only half made. Even if your break is a short one, take it if you need it! “Sometimes I get frustrated, only to realize that I’m simply hungry,” she says. “If I eat a snack with the kids, I’m a happy mommy again.”
 
Parent-Child Bonds
Parents are the first and most influential teachers that a child will ever have. Spending time with them is key to helping build their confidence and encouraging their interests. One-on-one time and family activities will help you become closer to your children.

“I think doing activities as a family strengthens the knowledge that each person is loved,” says Nicci. “We are making time for them and backing up our words with actions. As we spend time together, we also learn about each child, not just their likes and dislikes, but their core personalities too.”

Here are a few fun ideas from Joyful Family Life that are great for family bonding:
·      Spring Gardening
·      Backyard Sprinkler Run
·      Thanksgiving Daily
 
By working on your marriage relationship, personal emotional health, and parent-child bonds, you will be able to see the difference it makes in your family.

“I hope my training as a counselor and my life experience as a wife and mother can be of service to those who read my blog,” Nicci says. “Life can be so beautiful and full of joy, and I write to encourage that fulfilling lifestyle.”

Twitter: @JoyfulFamLife
Instagram: @joyfulfamiliy
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Blog: joyfulfamilylife.com
Erika graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Communications (Advertising emphasis) and an English minor. She is the middle of five children and was raised on the stage singing, dancing, and acting. A performer at heart, she's learned ... Read More




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