But the root of change will come from within the family, not outside the family.
This is the concluding thought of my last post on family empowerment. So what’s in a family?
Structure and belonging are two components of resilient families.
I pull out these two for a couple of reasons. First, the makeup of families has changed much in the past few decades. Second, the keys to families empowered by resilience have never changed.
Structure: This certainly encompasses the rules and expectations that are put in place. But it also includes who plays what role in the family. Everyone has a place, and I believe that the family is not a single-parent proposition. Research on the important role of fathers indicates important ways that dads or male figures when a dad isn’t present, contribute to child growth and development in many ways. When there is a blended household, further role distinctions are necessary around who will discipline children and how decisions are made regarding biological children of each parent. Setting this structure helps promote resilience and empowers families.
Belonging: Everyone seeks and deserves to belong to something bigger and greater than themselves. It begins at home- what are the positive distinctions of each household member, and how does each contribute to the family? How are each family member recognized for his or her contribution? Beyond that, a strong sense of belief or faith is extremely important: morals, convictions, trust and traditions promote a sense of belonging. This site recounts a striking example from a great book that shows how children who endured the Waco Branch Davidian tragedy were able to thrive due to a sense of love, belonging, and belief.
Empowered families are resilient families, structuring for success and instilling a belief in themselves and in something bigger.
I happen to be a Christian believer, thankful to Jesus Christ for a great family and a part in the Kingdom of God. Where does your belief lie? What roles do you play, or allow others to play, that promote family resilience? How would you like to make your family more resilient?