Keep Your Family Strong. How to Grow a Wonderful Family.
Like a tender flower so is a family
Families are dynamic ,moving ,changing organisms. They must be nurtured and cared for like a delicate flower for young child in order to grow and flourish. It is the lack of this care that makes so many families fall apart and stop dead in their tracts never to grow again. Divorce, separation or just not caring can do lifelong damage to a child.
How do we care for a family, this living piece of life? I think first it must be cherished and loved. There must be someone that really loves the family so much that they will carry it into adulthood if you will, but even as an adult, like people, the family will continue to change. Strong winds and storms of life can disrupt the life of the family and bring it tearing down. This is seen so often when a child leaves home or a parent dies or someone within the dynamics of the family becomes sick either physically or emotionally.
It is at these stressful times that the family must hold tight and build a strong bond against the winds of life. Everyone in the family needs to work together to bring cohesiveness and strength. Every part is important down to the tiniest toddler to the eldest grandparent. Often in-laws may interfere and keep the other spouse's parent's from really being involved in a grandchild's life. This is so sad for all involved from the infant to the grown child to the grandparents. You would think that with age comes wisdom from each set of parents to make sure the young growing family has both sets of grandparents to lean on. But sometimes either through their own insecurity or even a need to control their adult child a parent-in-law may be selfish and keep the young family lopsided . This is a shame as both the adult children and the grandchildren will be left with a void in their lives. We all come with God given talents and are meant to pass our wisdom and love down to our adult children and grandchildren
Children need to be strong enough to stand up to their parents and make sure their spouse has ample opportunity to see his or her own parents and to help the grandchildren close to them. I have a wise friend who makes sure her husband has time to go out to dinner alone with their son even though she is now his wife she realizes he was first theirs and the bond should not be broken.
How many parents do we see divorced after the death of a child? Teenagers leave the nest in a time of turmoil looking for greener grass when what they really needed was the family to be whole again and help them through their own emotional trials. They need security and most important love. Love also needs to be modeled to children so they can learn to love back.
How can we keep this living being strong? There are so many factors that play into the strength of the human family, but I believe the biggest factors are love, trust and support. Sometimes a counselor needs to be brought in to help everyone through the storms of life.
When families’ are separated by time and space there must be an effort made to bring them back together again to strengthen the ties that may have begun to fray. Phone calls are important as are notes and little gifts on birthdays or anytime just to say, “I love you and you are always on my mind and important in my life”. Even when a child grows up she needs to know the support of the family is still waiting for her or him with open arms at any moment to welcome them back into the family unit and them know all is right not only with the world but in their own lives also.
Families need to have times when they come together as one to celebrate the wholeness and create and nurture new bonds. This can be something as large as a week at the beach or an afternoon family reunion. The effort of each individual is so important to the whole even if it might not seem that they will be missed, they will.
Grandchildren need to know their grandparents. This is so important to the foundation of the whole being. We all are really children in adult bodies and as we raise our own little ones we need to know there is someone wiser, a little more experienced and waiting to take some of the pressures of parenting off of them and yes to let them know they are going to make it as parents also. New parents have so many new difficulties to face and grandparents can help them to know they are doing things well and that the difficulties and problems of infancy, toddlerhood, and childhood in general that they may be facing will pass.
How sad for a part of the family to become ill and yet be neglected by the rest of the whole being. It is at that time that the care and love needs to flow most easily within the family and each person in the family must play a role in caring for the whole.
Families can go beyond the reach of the biological family. I have seen families adopt other more needy families and help them to regain a wholeness of their own. How special to see God work in this special creative way. The older generation helps the younger and then comes a time when the younger may need to care for the needs of the older members of the family. How sad to visit a nursing home and see a person all alone, totally neglected by the family that they once cared for so lovingly. Yes families are living, breathing organisms and what a wonderful thing a true family is to behold.
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