happy family 

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

By Denise Morganthall

 

A family can be defined in many ways. Traditionally, it is a group of people made up of partners, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and pets. Today people are taking a more expansive view of what a family is. To many, a family may be defined as the people we love and/or the foundation of society. However you choose to define family, we can probably all agree that family values play a significant role in a family’s success.

 

Family values are the pieces holding a family together and helping each family member work toward a common goal. Without family values, a family may falter or fail. Common values in a family include love, trust, communication, spirituality and religion and traditions. Family values influence the decisions we make within our family and outside of it.

Parenting is not an easy task, and with all the influences we encounter daily, it can be a very overwhelming experience. Knowing what you believe in as a parent and what you want for your children will help them be responsible adults. But we must ask ourselves whether we have lost track of our family values. Are we slacking as parents? Are we too busy to get to our daughter’s choir recital or our son’s basketball game? Are we responsible for the lack of family values or are we blaming society for this loss?

 

I have to believe society certainly has played a part, however we all have choices in life and the choices we make have an impact on how our family life looks. We can’t let society influence how we raise our children. Sometimes things that would initially appear to have a negative impact on family, such as a weak economy, can actually be blessings in disguise. A dinner out becomes a relaxing meal at home, where family can enjoy conversation and togetherness. Sometimes a little hardship can create more togetherness and a special focus on family time. Most of us would give our own lives to save a family member, yet we take family for granted on a daily basis. So think about it: what does family mean to you? And how can we all change the way society affects our family values and gives us time to enjoy each other’s company?