By Susan Heckler
Cultural changes have transformed the typical family. More single parent families, more grandparents picking up the slack of busy or missing parents. Growing pressures conspire against keeping families strong; two income families took Mom away from the home. The whole family is plugged in to the Internet and electronics; the art of conversation is lost to texting and meals on the fly. There are so many distractions and disruptions in our day to day lives that it can be difficult to keep in mind that we are just one part of a whole…the whole being your family.
One goal that is especially important to many is to keep their family strong. The Search Institute has come up with a framework to help do just that. The five themes are:
• Nurturing Relationships—healthy relationships begin and grow as we share emotions, show we care, and share interests.
• Establishing Routines—shared routines, traditions, and activities give a dependable rhythm to family life.
• Maintaining Expectations—expectations make it clear how each person participates in and contributes to family life. Shared expectations require talking about tough topics.
• Adapting to Challenge—every family faces challenges, large and small. The ways families face and adapt to those changes together help them through the ups and downs of life.
• Connecting to Community—community connections, relationships, and participation sustain, shape, and enrich how families live their lives together
It may be time to reassess your goals and incorporate these themes into your home to strengthen your family for the betterment of all concerned.
By Susan Heckler