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Healthy Family Relationships: The Smartest Thing You Can Start Doing Right Now...

Part 1, 2, 3, 4

We're looking at healthy family relationships and close friend connections, here. And this is Part 3, of a Four-Part series.

The goal in this Series is to provide you, the busy Leader, tips and tools that will help you create closer connections with family and friends.

I've looked for valuable and clear insight that will help you make this Wake Up Eager Re-Calibrate Daily Habit Quiz Statement "Absolutely True" for you: 

"I have a circle of friends/family that love, support and appreciate
me for who I am, more than just what I can do for them."

The Smartest Thing, It's What Helps
Families The Most...

What's the smartest thing you can do with family and friends to fosters healthy family relationships? Creating and Keeping Family Traditions.

Some Specifics About Traditions - What They Are and Why They're So Powerful:

  • According to Brigham Young University research, traditions are the best way to begin creating, developing and strengthening healthy family relationships.
  • Traditions Are: Practices or beliefs that create positive feelings and are repeated at regular intervals.
  • Because traditions have meaning that is special to an individual family, they create feelings of warmth, closeness and healthy family relationships.
  • By spending time together in a fun and special setting, family members grow closer.
  • Effective traditions promote a sense of identity and a feeling of belonging.
  • They also promote a feeling of safety and security within the family by providing a predictable and familiar experience. Family members have something to look forward to which gives them a sense of assurance in a hectic and ever-changing world

The Intentional Family

healthy family relationships

In his book about healthy family relationships: The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties Family Scholar William Doherty shares that as family bonds are weakened by busy lifestyles, families can stay connected only by being intentional about maintaining important rituals and traditions.

Regular participation in meaningful traditions helps families overcome an inclination toward what family scholars call "entropy." In the physical sciences, entropy is the tendency of a physical system to lose energy and coherence over time, such as a gas dissipating until it's all but gone.

As Doherty explains, an "entropic family" is one that loses it's sense of emotional closeness because members neglect the family's inner life and community ties.

ENTROPHY is the tendency of a physical system to
lose energy and coherence over time.  In a family
it's when a family loses it's sense sense of emotional of closeness.

How to Create More Traditions for Your Family

healthy family relationships

Here are some ideas for creating meaningful family traditions that will help cultivate healthy family relationships:

Aim for a moderate number of traditions.

  • Families with too few traditions have trouble staying unified. They tend to forget or ignore important events in family member's lives.
  • Families with too many traditions, on the other hand, dilute the importance of each tradition. 
  • Moderation is the key.

Establish new traditions. 

  • Establishing new traditions takes preparation and effort.
  • Choose traditions that include every family member and are sensitive to the needs of all family members. Remember that every family is unique; do what works for you.
  • Also don't overwhelm the family with new traditions. Pick one or two and see how things go.
  • From time to time, evaluate your traditions.  To make sure your traditions are working for your family, it's a good idea for families occasionally to identify and evaluate traditions they already have and make plans to add new ones.

Common Family Traditions. Below is a list of traditions many families have continued through the generations or adopted as new traditions. As you evaluate your family's traditions, use this list as a resource for possible new traditions:

  • For birthdays, each family member chooses his or her favorite menu, then everyone except the birthday person helps prepare the meal.
  • No one can go to bed until they've told each member of the family "I love you."
  • For religious milestones such as baptism or confirmation, a child is given a book of scripture.
  • For religious or historical figures the family especially admires, celebrate that person's birthday.
  • Saturdays are Dad's day to make breakfast with the kids.
  • Take turns choosing a topic of discussion at the dinner table.
  • Have a special dinner plate to be used by a family member who has a reason to celebrate.
  • Tell a story every night before bed.
  • Keep a family journal, letting everyone write in it.
  •  Establish our own holidays, such as an "Un-Birthday Party."
  • Watch movies that explore the value of traditions, such as "Fiddler on the Roof."

Go To Healthy Family Relationships Part 4 and Share Your Tips and Traditions, Read What Others Have Shared, Too, Here...




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