This week is Family Week. I wanted to celebrate this week by giving you some helpful tips about parenting and about being one as a family.
All family therapists will say the key to a thriving family is the result of a proactive parent.
Focus on the Family reports that Professor Nick Stinnett from the University of Alabama conducted an extensive study with thousands of families from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds. The study found that thriving families share 6 qualities.
- Time Together: quality and quantity time. They enjoy each other’s company and create great memories and traditions.
- Commitment: they look out for each another. They value their relationships.
- Appreciation and Affection: don’t take one another for granted and show their love through words and action.
- Positive Communication: encourage one another with their words, talk openly and honestly and aim to listen to understand where the other person is coming from.
- Spiritual awareness: have a sense of strength from another source. This could be through their faith, spiritual beliefs or in a church and religious ceremony.
- Cope with Stress and Crises: They band together and support one another and as a result navigate the storm and grow stronger as a family.
I also believe that a key to a strong family is a strong marriage.
Do you pay attention to your spouse or partner like you did when you first started dating? Give compliments? Listen to what they say and respond with interest?
Do you show affection to your spouse or partner? Have date nights? Send flowers? Put sweet notes into a lunch box or briefcase? Hug a lot and make your children groan?
Do you give affirmation to your spouse or partner? Do you raise their value as you talk to and about them? Do you affirm their strengths? Do you praise them to your children?
Isn’t it interesting that the way spouses and partners should treat each other correlated with the way that they should also treat their children? What makes families strong is what makes marriages/partnerships strong.We were built for relationship – to be loved and respected and to create an atmosphere of fun and security for all family members.
The impact of the wider culture on your family often seems insurmountable, so while you put into place the advice above, here is some more help to keep your family safe.
I would like you to take up the Family Challenge that Focus on the Family have developed. Go to their website families.org.au/challenge for more details, but it will help you with areas such as:
Alcohol and drugs
Grief and trauma
Identity and LGBTI
I often say to parents that their love for one another is the greatest gift they can give their children. Never underestimate the hard work that is required, but also don’t underestimate the power of an undivided family.
I watch the fallout of broken homes every day, and have my own story of pain and brokenness which helps me to know and understand the pressures and hurts, as well as great joy, that only living in a family can bring.
May God bless you on your journeys to wholeness. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
Mrs Sue Skuthorpe