Strong Families: The Qualities of Strong Families
There are many different models for family strengths, positive family characteristics, and normal family functioning. Every model is unique because family strengths and positive family interaction models are conceptual frameworks. Although the models were derived from real family interactions around the globe, they are subjective constructs based on family members’ perceptions. It is important to note that there are many similarities between models of family strengths.
Researchers from all over the globe have also found striking similarities between families of different cultures. Strong families often share many common traits or qualities. It is not important how strong families are distributed globally, but how similar they are. People are people, and families are families.
The Family Strengths Model suggests six groups of characteristics that can describe strong families.
- Showing appreciation and affection. Strong families show that they care deeply about one another and regularly know it. They don’t hesitate to show their love.
- Commitment. Strong families put their all into each other’s well-being and invest time and energy in activities that benefit the whole family.
- Positive communication. Families that succeed are task-oriented. How to solve them together. Even more important is that strong families can communicate with one another and listen to each other to keep connected. The most important conversations happen when no one is trying to connect: open-ended, rambling discussions can uncover important information that helps smooth out the bumps in family life.
- Spending time together. A study of 1,500 students asked: “What makes a happy family?” Few people said that money, cars or fancy homes made them happy. Children said that a happy family is one where everyone does the same thing and enjoys each other’s company.
- Spiritual well being. This is perhaps the most controversial finding from the family strengths research. To describe this concept, we use the term spiritual well-being. However, it does not have to include organized religion. Strong families can describe this concept in many ways. Some talk about their faith in God or hope; others say they feel one with the world. Some people talk about their family in almost religious terms. They describe the love they have for each other with great reverence. Others express these feelings in their ethical values and dedication to important causes. Spiritual well-being is the inner caring centre that encourages love, compassion, sharing and loving. It is a feeling that allows people to transcend their daily stressors and to focus on what is most sacred to them.
- Successful management and control of stress and crises. Strong families can still be affected by stress and crisis but are less likely to become overwhelmed than families with troubled family members. They can deal with both everyday stressors and difficult life situations creatively and effectively. They can avoid trouble and work together to overcome the inevitable problems.
The strengths of all family members are interconnected and cannot be separated. The common thread that unites all the strengths is a strong positive emotional connection. Strong families are happy to share their feelings and care about one another’s well-being.