It is hard to change a family once the patterns are established, but that is not to say it can’t be done. It requires willingness, determination and maybe even outside (family therapy). The idea is to examine the old patterns which are not helpful and learn new ones in their place which are more conducive to fostering harmony in the family. Here are some suggestions for creating and sustaining loving family by Donald and Nancy Tubesing, a Lutheran minister and educator – listed in their book The Caring Question.
1. Reach out in your family: They suggest in caring for your family by giving yourself to them, we ourselves grow in caring , tolerance and understanding. That is exactly what is needed in the long run to create a loving and caring family.
2. Make the family top priority: They found this characteristic to be common in most of the healthy families. It makes sense because making the family a top priority requires deliberate decision to invest time and energy in family relationships.
3. Expand the family memory bank: Every family has storehouse of collective memories….by recalling peak experiences ( which I mentioned in my article on New Years Resolution) , reliving familiar rituals and traditions, and retelling family stories keep the family spirit alive.
4. Deal with family problems: Our commitment to one another in the family provides the context for working out , rather than walking away from , the problems. All families have problems, commitment to family includes that we continue looking for alternative solutions if the current ones are not working.
5. Finding the forgiveness factor: Families need some way to reach out to one another with love and forgiveness. Most of us haven’t had much experience with true forgiveness. We need to learn how to ask for, grant and accept forgiveness……Forgiveness is not forgetting; it is refusing to hold grudges. Forgiveness doesn’t demand that the others change first. Forgiveness is an attitude freely given that accepts hurts and drops the charges…… Seek out and practice a variety of rituals for asking and offering forgiveness in your family.
6. Accentuate the positives: Say I love you ….don’t assume that the others know you care. Tell your family you love them with your words, with your looks, with your touch, with your attitude, with your thoughtfulness – several times a day. Affirm one another by noticing each others unique qualities, tell them they are special.
Chop Wood Carry Water
By Rick Fields, with Peggy Taylor, Rex Weyler, and Rick Ingrasci.
- Forgiveness (ethanjmac.wordpress.com)