Life has been especially crazy for me over the last couple of months. My family is growing, and with that inevitably comes growing pains. Relationships grow and stretch to new heights and interesting dynamics. New members of the family are always coming in, whether that is a welcomed friend or a wonderful new life. It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which human compassion, if cultivated, has the ability to expand and grow into true love for anyone it touches.
What a wonderful system to be a part of on this planet! Everyone belongs to a unit of people, their family, who are biologically programed to look like, act like, and in some cases even think alike. Families are so fantastically designed to help us care for one another in a way that can never be matched by any other sports team, school club, or organization we decide to become a member of. Differences within the family are inevitable. But, the similarities of those within members of the same family are spectacular strengths that should be celebrated. Everyone of us at certain times in our lives will reach for those familiar family strengths to get us through something!
So celebrate them today! Celebrate your distinguished noses, stubbornness, or incorrigible whit. Too often we spend valuable time together picking each other apart – or dissecting the one who is not there. Even as a parent we tend to focus on the differences with endless stories of, “when I was in school….”, or “that’s not how I used to do it.” Truth is, we are all individuals, with certain particular similarities either in character or physical likeness. Ultimately, however, it will be your spiritual belief system that will forever bind you together as a family, or tear you apart. Do you know what your family believes as a whole? Morals and values. What do yours look like and can you define them. Let your moral fiber be what weaves all the colors of your family together like a beautiful tapestry.
Teach your children what you believe about science, love, and religion. If done correctly, you will be amazed at how quickly they respond to and feel about the same things you do. As human beings with similar interests, physical structures, and demeanor you are destined to face similar challenges and successes. You are the only one that can really come close to understanding – even when your child may not think so. So celebrate the wonderful unit we call a family by teaching your children about all of the wonderful things you have in common – but most important, teach them your value system. Don’t leave it up to their friends, their school teachers, television, video games or the internet!