Right now in Australia, it’s time to celebrate families! National Families Week is held every year between 15 and 21 May. Thousands of people get involved in community events throughout Australia in its biggest celebration of families.
When we read the statistics that nearly half the divorces, in Australia, involve families with children under 18, it poses the question in my mind, “What makes families strong?”
According to Dennis Lynn, PhD, the Family Strengths Research Project offers valuable insights into healthy families. He says, “This research reminds us of six specific areas we can focus on immediately, becoming more aware and actively engaged in strengthening our families.” They are:
1. Strong families express appreciation and affection. They speak in positive and affirming ways and express the love they have for each other.
2. Strong families have a strong commitment to each other. They are deeply committed to promoting each other’s happiness and welfare and show their commitment by investing time and energy in family activities.
3. Strong families spend enjoyable time together. They enjoy being together and know that if they don’t prioritize and schedule time together, it won’t happen.
4. Strong families manage stress and crisis effectively. They are not immune or exempt from difficult days and challenging situations, but they develop strategies so they can pull together, rather than fall apart.
5. Strong families have a sense of spiritual well-being. Whatever the expression of their spiritual lifestyle, there are consistent themes of guiding values and ethics, as well as commitment to important causes.
6. Strong families have effective and positive communication patterns. They talk to each other and listen to each other and may have specific ground rules on how they communicate in respectful, loving ways.
At ZOE we believe in building strong families. In strong, loving families everyone feels safe, loved, and respected. Parents have a responsibility to provide an appropriate role model for their children and a nurturing environment in which they can thrive.
This week, as Australians celebrate families, let’s keep in mind the six attributes of a strong family and try to implement them in our own homes where they are missing or weak. Let’s also encourage families around us in our schools, communities, and churches. And let’s strive to become actively engaged in protecting, loving, and seeking the best interest for the children we influence; bit-by-bit building stronger families.
Source: Oregon State University (November 20, 2018). “Six Qualities of Strong Families.” Retrieved from http://synergies.oregonstate.edu/2018/six-qualities-of-strong-families-2.
Published by: Andrea Cross in Australia