Six Characteristics of a Close-Knit Family

CBN.com In his book, The Key to Your Child's Heart, Dr. Gary Smalley writes about the keys to having a close-knit family. In his research, he found that close-knit families had several things in common. Below is an excerpt from his book.

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Dr. Stinnett discovered that there were six consistent characteristics among these families. First, family members expressed a high degree of appreciation for each other. Several families even created projects around the house to stimulate praise. For example, one household of five had an event Dr. Stinnett called "bombardment." Every few months, the family members would meet and each would spend one minute praising every other member of the family. Sometimes the sessions were a little embarrassing, but they certainly were stimulating and inspirational.

Second, these families spent a great deal of time together. They genuinely enjoyed being together. They worked at doing things that involved every member of the family.

The third characteristic was that these successful families had good communication patterns. They spent time talking to each other. The key to effective communication, according to Dr. Stinnett, was that members listened and worked at understanding each other.

Fourth, the families had a strong sense of commitment. They actively promoted one another's happiness and welfare. An example of this commitment was in how these families handled themselves when things became too hectic, causing them to spend less time together. In one home, each family member made a list of his or her individual activities. The things he or she really didn't want to do or that weren't very important were scratched to provide more time for family involvement.

The fifth common ingredient was a high degree of religious orientation. These families participate in church activities together. They were committed to a spiritual lifestyle.

The final characteristic was that they had an ability to deal with crises in a positive manner. This isn't to say that they enjoy crises, but even in the worst situation they were able to find some positive elements, no matter how tiny, and focus on that.

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For more information about The Key to Your Child's Heart, as well as Dr. Smalley's other books, visit the Smalley Relationship Center online.

© Copyright 2005 Smalley Relationship Center. Used by permission.


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