If you're willing to see parenthood as a journey, and
if you are open to growing through that journey with your
children, then you're on your way to being a good parent.
No one is ever fully equipped to be The Perfect Parent. No one is
ever quite ready for the journey ahead. You cannot predict
everything that's going to occur; you are not going to be
perfectly prepared. It is a little like marriage in this
respect-you're never quite sure what you're going to encounter.
You have to take a leap of faith, but part of the excitement of
both marriage and parenthood is the adventure of the journey.
you don't have to be a perfect parent to be a good parent; and
though there are no perfect families, there are many strong
people used to think that good families occurred spontaneously,
without any effort. Now we realize that strong families have to be
built, and building them takes time and hard work. There are no
shortcuts in the building process; there are no ways to save time.
We hear talk about quality time rather than quantity time, but
the truth is that to build a strong marriage or a strong family,
both quality and quantity time must be involved. It's just not
possible to build strong relationships without logging a lot of
indicates many factors are involved in building a strong family.
Good communication is an important factor. Families need to talk
about something deeper than the changing weather or the fact
that the car needs washing. They need to talk about their
feelings, their thoughts, their experiences, their ideas. Family
members need to be able to express their appreciation to one another.
If they exchange feelings and thoughts only about what's not
right, they tend to get bogged down in the negatives, and that
is a basic building block of strong families. We live in an era
when people are primarily committed to themselves. The focus is
on self-fulfillment. But in a strong family, each individual is
committed to each of the other family members as well as to the
family unit itself. This requires setting priorities. Sometimes we
have to give up something we want to do for ourselves in order
to do something that will enhance the well-being of another family
member or the family as a whole.
recent studies on family strengths, one characteristic of a strong
family that keeps surfacing is deep religious commitment. Strong
families have a sense of commitment to their faith; their
religious beliefs have an impact on their lives and give them a
sense of stability.
important characteristic is the ability to resolve crises, to deal
with the kinds of intense pressure that all families must face at
one time or another. In some families, crisis times pull relationships
apart; in others, they tend to draw family members together.
Strong families are able to resolve crises because they are
flexible enough to adapt to new situations.
aim to have a perfect family, you will be sorely disappointed. But
you can create a strong family where the members respect each
other, are loyal to one another, and enjoy being together. For
more information on strong families, read Dolores Curran's Traits
of a Healthy Family, or Nick Stinnett's Building Family Strength,
or George Reker's Family Building.