6 Characteristics of Strong Families: I …

6 Characteristics of Strong Families:
I came across interesting info about the characteristics of strong families while attending a workshop on the development and formation of eating disorders. The following characteristics are attributed to Dr. John DeFrain from the University of Nebraska. He reports that the six characteristics of strong families are:

1. Open communication including appropriate emotional expression
2. Expressed appreciation
3. Commitment (to the relationships within the family system)
4. Time spent together
5. Viewing crisis as an opportunity for growth
6. Spiritual wellness

Interesting, right? Again, we see spiritual wellness as an important characteristic – one that is so often overlooked – or dismissed. Expressed appreciation is good to see as well – how often do we expressed appreciation to/among our family members?

Food for thought…

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9 Responses to 6 Characteristics of Strong Families: I …

  1. Arlene says:

    Is there a gray area between the 6 characteristics of strong families and the 12 steps to raising at-risk kids? I think a lot of families might fall into the gray area! Thanks for another interesting blog!

  2. Annamaria says:

    So true!!!!!!

  3. Carolann says:

    What happens when the family meets these characteristics, yet 1 child has lost his way despite all else? A lost child is not necessarily that result of a weak family or faulty parenting.

  4. Jeff Brain says:

    Carolann – I agree with you and unfortunately, we do see this often – a child loses his way (and I like the way you put that) despite the love and healthy environment in the home. So often fingers get pointed toward parents when really this type of thing can effect any family. We know that despite what is known about good parenting (just like what is known for good teaching/education in schools) some kids do not accept and respond to our best. Children and teens are affected by so many forces and influences – and a child can be lured away into a life style that is inconsistent with the way they have been raised. This occurs in treatment to – two kids side by side, one gets better, the other doesn’t. Just today a mom expressed this same sentiment as she agonized about the possibility that her son may not be able to live with her – she wrote in part “at this point I think he wants freedom so badly that he sees no benefit to a stable, loving and boundary driven household.” Our hope and prayers are that seeds were planted and that they will find their way in time because they had the experience of being loved, accepted and cared for – that it will be a desire to return to that one day. Not unlike the story of the prodigal son, the father waits for his son to come to the end of himself before he returns – and what joy is there for both of them when they are re-united. For those with mental health issues, engagement with appropriate treatment is so important to help secure that stability of thought and mind.

  5. Annamaria says:

    I believe children are a product of their enviornment…I have 3 myself….My first child passed away at the age of 23, I am now raising her child, a girl, because I could not let her father take over…I fought in court and the judge gave me custody….Even though we think we are doing the right thing, at the time, there are consequences that come after the fact…The child is now 13 and is asking questions and my answer is you were given to me because I love you and the Judge thought it was the right thing to do…I do take the child to church here and have given her a christian background and I know that is the reason I am able to take on such a responsibility….All we can do is love children unconditionally and give them the spirtual guidance and set the example…Yes, there are other forces out there that will be played, there is no guarantee that any of our children will be free from the forces outside…The stability and boundaries that we give our children helps them overcome their fears growing up…They want to be heard and understood in this unpredicable world…Every time we turn on the news, its so destructive..Limit Tv watching, get them involved in Healthy sports, drama…Do what you can do to feed positive circumstances…That’s what I am trying to do, and it’s tough, I have my battles, but I am consistent…Love is not all roses, our Lord expects us to correct and discipline in a loving way…All you can do is try……

  6. Amy says:

    Is there a gray area between the 6 characteristics of strong families and the 12 steps to raising at-risk kids? I think a lot of families might fall into the gray area! Thanks for another interesting blog!

  7. Bruce says:

    So true!!!!!!

  8. Taylor says:

    When I look at this list and reflect about when times are bad or not going as well as they could within the family, I can point to one or more of these characteristics not being as strong as the others and contributing to the problem.

    Its a great list and having some balance among the six is both important and hard to accomplish at times.

  9. laquisha says:

    These 6 characteristics are very good and very helpful for many families.. when i look at my family i see that we dont have all the characteristics on the list. i wish we did though because then our family would be more together then apart..
    very helpful

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