I read an article the other day and the title was...What Makes A Family Strong? I was interested in what points they would say would be important to keeping that strength in a family. They had great points and as I read the news each morning, I realize that we all should really put more effort in trying to keep our family strong and less in entertaining them. Parenthood is a sacred responsibility and I truly believe we are to take our job very seriously. Enjoy!
Trait 1: Commitment
The most important trait in strong, happy families is commitment. Commitment to the team—putting the family first—and commitment to each individual on the family in helping him or her become everything he or she can.…With commitment comes the desire to help family members reach their potential. A winning attitude is "I’ll forgo my own immediate gratification to help a family member succeed, because I know the personal joy that I experience when I help another family member."
Trait 2: Appreciation
Do you let your family members know that they are appreciated? Do you give them positive attention?…Strong families focus on the strengths of each other—not the faults.
If you think your family needs improvement in this area, try serving a compliment at each practice…"I really like the way that you…" "One of the things I like best about you is…" "You make me happy when you…" "You have real talent when it comes to…" "You make me proud when you…"
Trait 3: Time Together
Healthy families enjoy being together. They work together, play together, and enjoy leisure times together. They may be very busy, but they…plan time together.
Trait 4: Communication
To understand each other, a family has to be willing to invest the time necessary to share their feelings and opinions. Because you are a product of your experiences, each day you are a new person. Without talking and listening to each other, family members can soon become strangers.
Trait 5: Religion
Praying together, as well as, praying for one another are extremely important for a strong, happy family. Worshiping together is a bonding experience.
Trait 6: Sense of Humor
Happy families have fun together; they play together; they laugh together. Having a sense of humor during tense, troublesome moments…defuses the tension and has an immediate calming effect.
Trait 7: Share Responsibility
Flexibility is an important trait in strong families, especially when it comes to sharing responsibility and roles. If family members will do whatever is necessary to meet each other's needs, even if the task does not happen to be on their list, everyone is happier.
Trait 8: Common Interests
The more that family members have in common, the more they tend to do together. Having similar interests and developing common goals gives the family something to look forward to, to plan toward, and to experience together.
Trait 9: Service to Others
Just as a pond grows stagnant if there is no outlet, so does the family. Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter…agreed that nothing (not even the White House experience) brought them as much joy and satisfaction as they received when pounding nails and painting walls in houses they were volunteering to build for others. Your own problems and worries can become insignificant when seen from the perspective of others who have so much less than you.
Trait 10: Seeking Help
Healthy families are not problem-free; they just admit to problems and get the help they need to solve them! The longer a problem drags on without a solution, the more discouraging family life becomes. Do not allow this to happen.
When you are a big enough person to admit you are not perfect and when you choose to get the help you need, not only will you gain the respect of your family, but you will find that your goal of living "happily ever after" is attainable after all.
by Kay Kuzma
"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."
-- Jane Howard
"Remember that having religious observance in the home is as important as providing food, clothing, and shelter." ~ Quentin L. Cook