What Makes Your Family Tick?
By Sandy Schroeder
At one time or another, we may all wonder what makes our families tick. Every family is different, but they all have something in common. In each family, there are key issues that make that family who they are. Think of the families that you know, including your own. What makes yours unique?
My family has always relied on humor. No matter what happens, somebody in our family will pop up and make a tart comment about it that makes us all roar, resolving the issue, and helping us move on.
In someone else’s family it could be a love of the outdoors, a focus on a beloved sport, or an emphasis on family traditions that binds the family together. The point is it’s important to know what it is that makes your family tick.
The next step is to cherish that quality and find ways to make it work for everybody in the family.
If your family loves the outdoors - You might create an indoor/outdoor area in your home where family members can go to read, relax, eat or play. It might resemble an outdoor family room with lots of plants, game or craft tables, and comfortable chairs. The outdoors can be a very effective way to help your kids or your spouse unwind and shed the day’s load, a perfect place to take a break and work through issues.
If your family loves traditions - Encourage your kids to get involved, helping to make special dishes and decorate for birthdays and holiday dinners. They might create a short skit, or choose music to play. At our house, family member birthdays were celebrated for a whole week. We hung balloons in the dining room, ordered a special cake and had a special chair for the birthday person. Of all of the things that we did when our kids were small, that was one of the best.
If your family has a beloved sport - Consider making that sport a focus that involves everyone. Kids may get involved with the sport, or parents and kids may follow and attend games. At the same time, as a parent you can talk with your kids about the specifics of the sport. Answer their questions and take the time to enjoy the interactions.
In a fast-moving world that can easily become impersonal, recognizing the mainstays of your family can be an invaluable way to deepen their connections, making the most of the time that you spend together. Give it some thought, and use the things that are special to your family to enrich their lives.
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