Family Strengths: Adaptive Ability

Strong families develop predictable routines, roles, and rules that govern everyday life and provide for continuity and stability. Some of the more obvious patterns are who cooks, washes dishes, does the laundry, or fixes the car. Other less obvious patterns include: Who has the right to make what decisions? How do we handle differences of opinion? How do we express anger, affection, or other emotions? Reasonably stable patterns empower a family to deal with the many inevitable challenges...
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Family Strengths – Identifying Your Family’s Strengths

All families have strengths. What are yours? Complete the "Discovering Our Family Strengths" chart to identify your own family's strengths and areas you'd like to grow stronger. Each family member eight years of age and older should complete the chart. This way you can get a better picture of how each family member views the family. After you have completed the chart, notice where your family agrees on strengths. These are your family strengths. Also notice where family members rate stren...
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Say it With Love: Using Communication to Strengthen Our Relationships with Our Children

Supportive messages from parents to children lead to a variety of positive outcomes. Some of these include higher self-esteem, greater adherence to moral standards, compliance with parents' wishes, less aggression and other problem behavior. Fathers foster cognitive development, masculine sex-role identification and academic achievement of sons; mothers foster the cognitive development and feminine sex-role identification of daughters. Other communication-related factors contributing to posi...
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Practicing Individualized Parenting

Each child is born unique, with strengths, weaknesses, talents, and tendencies that make him or her an individual. Because of this uniqueness, different children, even within the same family, respond to the same or similar parenting styles in different ways depending on their personalities and perceptions. Experts today emphasize the distinctiveness of each child more than ever. According to Craig Hart and Lloyd Newell of Brigham Young University, wise parents realize every child requires...
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Listening to Children with Head and Heart

Many sounds in our world compete for our attention. As parents, life can become so hectic we fail to truly listen, especially to those closest to us--like our children. The words of an anonymous author teaches a profound lesson about listening: A wise, old owl sat on an oak The more he saw, the less he spoke. The less he spoke, the more he heard. Why can't we all be like that bird? The ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium said we have been given one mouth and two ears that we mi...
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Developing Close Relationships With Our Teens

In an era of increased drug use, teenage pregnancy and youth suicide, it's little wonder that most parents are very concerned about their teens. Very often they ask: "How can I protect my teens from these things?" An important key is to develop close, caring relationships. Teenagers who have close relationships with their parents are less likely to use drugs, abuse alcohol or become pregnant out of wedlock. These teens are more likely to adopt the beliefs and values of their parents. Teen...
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