One of the signs of a strong family is how the family unit reacts to stress, tension and crisis as a group. When something tough happens (a move, death, an illness etc.) does your family come together or does everyone head off in their own directions?
Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect family and we all do things differently. I have a friend who feels as though she came from an incredibly strong family and as she described it: “We hollered and yelled and said horrible things to each other but then we always apologized and came together immediately.” Now, I am not into all that hollering and yelling, but I can see where the bonding was in the connection and the coming together.
Being able to connect with each other doesn’t just happen—it takes effort and building a family culture around getting through things together. This means that as parents we can set the expectation and model that commitment by being able to face even the toughest times and turn toward our family for solace and stability instead of going outside the family. This doesn’t mean that we can’t draw on the support of other friends, extended family, coworkers, etc. too—but we need to bring that strength back to the family and make sure that no other family members are slipping by the wayside in our process of facing the crisis.
We need to draw our strength and support from a broad community and support group, but I do think the family needs to be central. What good does it do if we manage to get through a tough crisis if we don’t help our children through it as well? I have found that staying connected and being able to stick together during the tough times means plenty of negotiating, love and respect. It will lay the foundation for being able to pull together by building trust and faith, and being able to keep perspective. This way you will not turn on each other when times get tough.
~STAY STRONG AND STICK TOGETHER~