Help your family flourish with these five strategies.
When it comes to family, it’s not about simply surviving together. It’s not about thriving together either. What we really want is to flourish as a family.
“To flourish” means to grow, and Studio 5 Parenting Contributor Heather Johnson says that the healthiest family environments encourage growth. She shares five ways for your family to flourish.
To contact Heather for counseling, email email@example.com, or visit www.familyvolley.blogspot.com.
5 Ways to Help Your Family Flourish
1. Be Committed
“Commitment is to the system itself… not to the individual relationships.”
Heather says families that flourish are the ones that are committed. However, it isn’t a commitment to an individual person – a sibling, a spouse, a parent, etc. – because sometimes we don’t get along great with the people. People can be difficult. We can be difficult. Rather than committing to a person, commit to the family. That way, when hardships come, you can overcome because you’re still committed to growing together as a family unit.
2. Protect Traditions
“We want to protect [these rituals], which means we’ll be intentional about putting in whatever effort it takes.”
Heather says that “to protect” means that we are willing to make sacrifices, and we are intentional about those sacrifices. She says that families that flourish protect the big things, like family vacation and holidays. But we should also be protecting the little things, like family dinner and saying hello and goodbye to each other.
Heather adds that protecting traditions without meaning or heart does damage to a family system. Ensure that as you protect these traditions, you protect them with love.
3. Know Your Family Tree
“Everything about us is healthier when we know the generations that came before us and when we’re connected to them.”
Heather says this is where grandparents are vitally important. She wants you to do everything you can to have relationships with extended family. It will increase your self-esteem, and your kid’s self-esteem. Heather challenges you to find ways to connect with cousins, aunts, and uncles this summer. Those intergenerational relationship will help your family to flourish.
4. Use Tech Together
“Technology is not going anywhere. Families that tech together, grow together.”
What if we used technology to text our kids throughout the day. What if we used it to praise them? What if we sat down and played video games with the kids? These things help family grow. Heather says we can use tech in such beautiful ways if we’re willing. Use it in ways that connect families.
“If we want families to flourish, we have to forgive.”
Heather wants us to remember that we’re all human. Our family members will make mistakes. We will make mistakes. We must move past them and apply grace to our relationships. She says that everyone is trying. And even if someone isn’t, we can still take a position where we forgive and connect.
If you actually want to know if you’re a forgiving person, Heather encourages you to ask your family members. Ask them, “Do you see me as a forgiving person”? Start that conversation and remind your family that you are committed to them and to the family no matter what.