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Your Family Strengths: Commitment

There are many ways to foster commitment at home:

Discovering and Enhancing Family Traditions. A family tradition is an activity or event that occurs with regularity and holds special meaning to a family. Family traditions promote feelings of warmth and unity. A fun activity is to identify and evaluate traditions you now have and make plans to add new ones. List your traditions and include everything from visiting Grandma on Christmas Eve to buying ice cream cones on Saturday afternoons.

Go over your list and discuss how much you enjoy these traditions. Are there some you'd like to do more? Are there some that are no longer enjoyable? Finally, list anything you'd like to add as a family tradition. It can be anything your family does that makes family time special. Let your imagination soar. One father suggested "Midnight Pancakes" so that he could stay better connected to his dating teens. Keep the list handy in a visible area for a few days to see if you think of anything else.

"And Now . . . Our Feature Presentation." Choose a video that deals with commitment in relationships or quality family life. Watch your selection together, have popcorn or cookies, and then talk about what you have seen.

Find Your Roots. Trace your family tree and collect all the photographs you can find of ancestors. Public libraries and bookstores have books on genealogy to get you started. Sometimes churches, community colleges, or historical societies offer genealogy classes.

"When I Was a Boy . . . " Compile a family oral history. Ask older relatives to talk about the parents and childhood and tape record their comments. Then transcribe the tapes and send copies to aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins. These stories contain a glimpse of the past that would be lost otherwise.

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