Friday, January 18, 2013

A Family Community

I have been reading the book, The Entitlement Trap, by Richard and Linda Eyre.  Chapter Three, Giving Your Children Ownership and Equity in Your Family, is very enlightening.  In it, they talk about how important it is to give your children a strong identity.  They talk about how this identity comes from their roots, their families.  Kids need to be able to identify with their families and have connections with them.  The Eyres give quite a few ideas on how to instill these connections in your children.  For example, by having strong family traditions (holidays and regular practices), developing a family culture and infrastructure, having weekly family meetings, family laws, and family mission statements, etc. 

I have been watching a weekly show recently called Teen Trouble.  In this reality show, a young man named Josh, who was a troubled teen himself, is now a teen behavior specialist and goes around to troubled teens and their families and helps direct them on the right path again and straighten out their lives.  One common thread I've noticed between the teens who've been highlighted is the fact that their family life failed them somehow.  Their parents clearly love them and have always loved them, but they never built this family "infrastructure", this family identity that the Eyres talk about in their book.

As I've pondered this, I've realized that there are many things about LDS culture that contribute to this family identity and that we can use to our benefit to really strengthen our families.  I always knew that things like Family Home Evening and family scripture study and prayer were infinitely important.  However, I never thought about it quite this deeply before, about how these three things contribute so very greatly to family connectedness and to really strengthening family bonds.  I never thought about how through these family bonds, kids can grow up in such a secure way, really feeling part of something.

I remember having a few Family Home Evening lessons on family unity, but I think I missed the point back then.  I understand it so much better now, even better as I'm reading this book.  Families are so important to the emotional and mental health of children and that is quite evident as we watch the current trend of the breakdown of the family, starting with a sort of anti-marriage sentiment that is sweeping through modern culture.  If Satan can make marriage seem trite, then families will be less important, and then individuals can be more easily torn apart.

We like to have a fancy family meal on Valentine's Day, either breakfast or dinner..

Family is the basic unit of society and a  unit that can be eternal.  It's no wonder why.  Heavenly Father sure knew what He was doing when He organized us into families.

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