The family is the basic social unit of society.

It is in the family that we first learn to play, to share, to help and to love. Some families effectively prepare family members to be strong, contributing members of society; others do not. All families have challenges and weaknesses. But some families use key strengths to grow and prosper. What makes some families effective and others ineffective? Years of research have found that strong families cultivate six characteristics. First, strong families have commitment. The membership of each family member is recognized and valued. Family members are committed to help each other succeed and there is an attitude of "one for all, and all for one." In short, there is allegiance to the family and family life is a priority. Second, strong families express appreciation. Appreciation is one of the deepest human needs. We all want our efforts recognized and appreciated. Strong families make a habit of expressing gratitude. They look for the good in one another and openly acknowledge it when it is found. They celebrate their successes. In strong families, communication is positive and compliments are common. Third, strong families spend time together. Although quality time is important, so is quantity time. Strong families do things together and do them often. They enjoy the time they spend with their families . They eat together, play together, and work together. Frequently they choose family activities over other non-family activities. This abundance of time together helps them develop an abundance of shared experiences and memories that unite and strengthen them. Fourth, strong families develop spiritually. For many families, their faith community becomes a second family that provides extra support. A spiritual connection can also provide purpose, direction, and perspective. As the old adage says, "the family that prays together stays together." Fifth, strong families deal effectively with conflict, stress, and crisis. All families experience conflict, but strong families attack the problem, not each other. They manage conflict in ways that are respectful of the unique perspective that each family member brings to a problem. Furthermore, strong families manage their resources wisely and plan ahead so stress is minimized. When crisis does hit, strong families unite and draw on one another for strength and support. Finally, strong families have rhythm. They have routines, rituals, and traditions that give direction, meaning, and structure to the daily flow of life. There are rules or principles that they live by. These family patterns or rhythms also give stability and clarify family roles and expectations. Still, the healthiest families are also open to change. They have learned to adapt to the changing needs of their family. They grow with the times and one another. From both the past and the present grow new traditions and new rhythm. The harmony and rhythm may change in creative ways, but the beauty of the music continues. Effective family communication could be listed as a seventh family strength, but actually communication is a basis for all family strengths. As the six strengths develop, so does communication. The reverse is also true, effective family communication contributes to the development of family strengths. All families have room for improvement. All families have some strength. By adding strengths to those you already have, you can make your family even stronger.

For most of the human record here on earth, to say that "the family is the fundamental unit of society" would be to say something unexceptional, or obvious: the equivalent of saying "the sky is blue" or "waves crash on the seashore." It has only been in relatively recent times, and only among certain educated elites in Northwest Europe and America, that we have heard statements such as:

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The family is "simply an institution for the more complete subjugation and enslavement of women and children" [Frances Swiney 1918]; or Marriage is "an institution which robs a woman of her individuality and reduces her to the level of a prostitute" [Flora Macdonald Denison 1914]; or Motherhood "is a calamity to be avoided" [Ernestine Mills, 1919];or "The family goes back to the age of savagery while the state belongs to the age of civilization" [Arthur Calhoun, 1917].

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The family would then have a sense of direction and the will to overcome the rough terrains and storms of family life. This was further played out in their eldest son. The mass media has periodically highlighted the difficulties of family life. While it is every parent¶s desire to have good and responsible children. There were certainly successful families in the past as there are in the present. we need to work towards inter-dependence. They acted in humility and had open communication. we do not seem to see much of them these days. This is where the family talks about God and prays together. have to be exemplary in respecting others so that the children can follow likewise. Many Singaporean families are trying hard to revive the good old family ties and family spirit. As such. The Dilemma Given the present scenario. We can learn the principles from these families and likewise. it is imperative to build a ³we´ culture in the family. Notwithstanding that there are always the unexpected obstacles. blamed the Devil. educationists and family therapists have been cracking their heads to search for some answers. this need not be the order of the day as God did intervene and hence. God is ever willing that we enjoy successful family life as each family is an extension of God¶s family. There is also the need to have regular family devotion and fellowship time. have a successful family. Fortunately. ³Successful´ in this context means the children who are responsible and families that are harmonious. As with other great achievements. it is also every child¶s desire to have caring and loving parents. It would be ideal to have discussed this matter of having successful family life before marriage or even just after it. Likewise. Complacency has ruined all great empires in the history of mankind. Abel. Eve. we need to work out a mission statement for our family. certain principles unmistakably emerge. A chance missed is an opportunity gone forever! God bless you with successful and happy family life! . the most important is that of mutual respect (Lk 6:31).y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y THE ESSENCE OF A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY LIFE Everyone wants a successful family. act now. This proto-type family was beset with family problems right from its inception. Fifthly. etc. Cain and Abel. TV. it is still not hopeless for those who already had children. it does not matter if we are an intact family or a single-parent family as it is still possible to plan for a successful family. In other words. those who have succeeded had been tenacious in their undertakings. touting it as a prevalent and perennial problem that is clamouring for answers. Mutual respect also requires one to display humility and have a ³let us learn together´ attitude. We can predictably say that how our family eventually turns out is the result of how we are leading our family now. Fourthly. Adam blamed his wife. studies and societal norms have prevailed over us. to embark on this venture of successful family. They stuck to the ground rules they set. patience is needed. Similarly. Really. This requires the shifting of paradigms and the learning of new life skills. These present day factors do not seem to be in any way promoting family life. This mission statement should be arrived at with the consensus of members of the family. due to jealousy (coz God accepted Abel¶s sacrifice) murdered his younger brother. This must also be supplemented by individual one-on-one parent and child bonding time. nothing just happens by chance as success or failure is often time knowingly or unknowingly planned for! I would like to propose the following five principles for a successful family life. especially the fathers. when we have achieved some measure of success. Conclusion ³You reap what you sow´ says Paul in Gal 6:7. However. steer your family towards actualising a successful family life. those who have succeeded had strategies. Unfortunately. a prospective successful family must have a destination in mind. one must demonstrate mutual respect towards other members of the family. Secondly. sporting arena and academic domain. What has gone wrong? What is amiss? What is the magic formula of those families that have succeeded? What has caused our children to be irresponsible and underachieving in school? Why are parents unable to provide the much needed leadership in the family? Is it due to the educational standard that has been further raised to a level that is beyond what many children could successfully attempt? Is it due to our modern-day distractions like computers. as success often does not come by quickly. in turn. the family needs to be resilient and rise up to new challenges. Perhaps. The Principles Of A Successful Family As we examine these successful families. for their misdeed and Eve. who. as this gives everyone the sense of ownership. Cain. As in the business world. goals and objectives. Among these rules. social scientists. Thirdly. there have been constant problems in family life. the hostile external factors around us like work. we must decide what we want our family to be in the future. is to work out a strategy together to guide the family to reach its intended destination. there is the need to set ground rules for fair practices. Singaporean families are at a loss when it comes to improving family life. Ever since this blame-game was played. troubles need not be perpetuated in every family. we are not to rest on our laurels as that would spell disaster. success only comes after much perseverance. This fact can be traced back to the first human family that came into existence when God created Adam and Eve and subsequently their children. The parents. ³Strike while the iron is hot´ is a familiar proverb and hence. This would counter the individualism that is crippling family life nowadays. Firstly. as well as to discuss family matters. or our children¶s association with non-academically inclined buddies? Or could it due to the fact that both parents are at work and hence unable to provide proper nurture and guidance for the children? In fact. Instead of our natural inclination towards independence. Regardless of whether one is the father or the eldest in the family. Family members must readily forgive one another whatever or whenever a wrong is committed (Mk 11:26).

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