Qualities of Strong Families
Families are the foundation on which every human culture is built. Families are not just a group of individuals who happen to be related; they are a group where all members can feel accepted and safe. Families give children their first lessons in values and acceptable behavior. Carry these lessons throughout our life. Developing relationships with family members is not always easy. Strong families can act as a buffer against many of life’s problems.
Strong Families have the following characteristics
Work Together Prepare children for society Spend time together Share responsibilities Listen to each other Share goals/values These are vital, or necessary, lessons for life.
Functions of the Family
Meet Basic Needs Everyone needs food, clothing, and shelter. Families need to make sure that these basic needs, as well as health and safety needs, are met. Strong families meet emotional and social needs. Chance to love, and be loved. Living in a family teaches you teamwork and sharing Intellectual needs The family is a child’s first teacher Concepts such as language, numbers, and colors
Prepare Children to Live in Society
By learning how to live with others in the family, children are prepared to live with others in society. Adults teach children what is important to people in society. They pass on these values 3 ways: Through Example Through Communication Through Religious Training Each society has its own way of life revealed through its art and music, its cooking and clothing styles, and its views on work and play. Adults teach children about traditions of their society; such as holidays.
Providing Support Family members provide a support system.
Help you get through rough times and sometimes everyday life. When stress causes health or relationship problems; sometimes it is helpful to seek professional help; i.e. family doctor, counselor, etc. Some families may feel as through they can not rely on their family for support. Friends, Neighbors, Coworkers, Relatives, etc.
Form Traditions Spending time together is the foundation to building a strong family. This includes doing special activities; family vacations, eating dinner together, etc. A tradition is a custom that is followed over time. It can be simple or elaborate. Provides a sense of continuity, understanding, and appreciation that brings a family together. Celebration Traditions: events formed around special occasions Family Traditions: events and special activities created to fit a family’s lifestyle; such as a vacation Patterned Family Interactions: actions that are centered on daily routines in life, such as dinner and bedtime.
Share Values Values are beliefs held by an individual, family community, or society. Feelings about the importance of acceptable behavior in terms of honesty, respect, responsibility, friendliness, kindness, and tolerance. Values parents pass down are largely shaped by the values that were passed on to them
Handle Family Conflicts
There is no way around it: Families argue. Sometimes they may just bicker, other times the conflicts are more serious. When families resolve their conflicts successfully, the whole family is stronger. Keep Cool: When people are angry they say/do things they normally would not. Be an active listener: Even in the middle of a conflict it is important to listen and carefully determine what the other is saying Use positive body language: People who make eye contact or sit up straight send messages they are listening.
Family Structure While each family has individual characteristics, most can be categorized as nuclear, single parent, or blended families.
Nuclear Families A nuclear family is a family that includes a mother and father and at least one child. Two parents to help raise the child. May differ depending on how many children there are, whether the parents work, etc.
A single-parent family is one that includes either a mother or a father and at lease one child. The absent parent might have died or left after a divorce or may have never been part of their lives. Single parenting presents special challenges, it can still be effective. Raising a child alone is a demanding job. Little or no free time, less income, etc. Many receive help from friends or relatives. In the case of a divorce, many children make scheduled visit to the parent who does not live with them. A custodial parent is a parent with whom the child resides.
Blended Families A blended family is formed when a single parent marries another person, who may or may not have children. To the child, the new parent becomes their stepparent. New Siblings- Stepbrothers/Stepsisters Becoming a strong family unit can be a challenge for a blended family. Parents and children need time to adjust. Everyone has to learn and adapt to the others habits, likes, and dislikes. Holidays, Traditions, etc.
Extended Families An extended family is a family that includes a parent or parents, at least one child, and other relatives who live with them. For example; a grandparent.
Joining A Family A child can join a family in many ways.
Biological child: born into the family Legal Guardian: is a person who is designated by a legal process to assume responsibility for raising a child. Adoption: is a legal process in which children enter a family they were not born into. Adopted child has the same rights as any biological children those parents have. Foster Child: is a child that comes from a troubled family or difficult circumstances and is placed in a temporary care of another person or family. Foster parents care for foster children, giving them a home while their parents solve their problems, or sometimes until a more permanent home can be found.
Trends Affecting Families
All families are affected by trends in the society around them. Mobility Families move farther away from each other making it harder to see each other on a regular basis Aging Population People are living longer and need to be cared for my someone, often times younger members of their families Economic Changes Many families struggle to make ends meet. Families are smaller than they used to be
Workplace Changes Technology
Many companies have fewer employees, different work shifts, pay less Technology Make family life easier and more complicated Increase efficiency at home and work Safety- young children Television, Video Games, Usage?! Strong families find ways to use technology to strengthen their bonds. They make choices based on their values. They manage their resources so that technology is a tool to bring the family together.
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