Families face unprecedented challenges.
Stresses come from many directions and impose great burdens on all families. There was a
time when most young people got family life training from their parents.
However, today, with greater challenges than ever, we provide less training and preparation for
family roles than in the past. It is no wonder that families feel flooded by the challenges they face.
Many people feel that they know a lot about families because they grew
up in one. Yet there are big surprises in recent discoveries in family life education. Many
of the processes that people assume to be helpful in families are not. Research continues
to show new and better ways to strengthen couple relationships and to raise healthy, balanced children.
Examples of a few of the intriguing discoveries that need to be delivered to
families include the following:
“The most important
work we ever do should not be left to luck.”
- Kindness may be more important in family relationships
than communication skills.
- Children’s character and moral development may depend more on
the cultivation of empathy than anything else.
- One characteristic of resilient children---
those who flourish in spite of challenges---is that they have someone in their lives who
is crazy about them.
- The healthiest people are not the most realistic. Research shows
that the healthiest people tend to be unrealistically optimistic.
- Emphasis on self-esteem
may have created more problems than it solved.
- People systematically distort information.
Those who focus on problems often create greater problems. Those who focus on strengths
tend to transcend many problems.
- Controlling stress is not done by avoiding it as much as
using the resources we have and managing the way we think about it.
--H. Wallace Goddard