Studies indicate that children learn resilience when they hear what their relatives before them have faced. Families may want to create a mission statement tell us about your family essay to the ones many companies use to identify their core values.
A monthly column about contemporary life by bestselling author and television personality Bruce Feiler. Internet Explorer 9 or earlier. Go to the home page to see the latest top stories. I hit the breaking point as a parent a few years ago. It was the week of my extended family’s annual gathering in August, and we were struggling with assorted crises. Sure enough, one night all the tensions boiled over. At dinner, I noticed my nephew texting under the table.
I knew I shouldn’t say anything, but I couldn’t help myself and asked him to stop. My sister snapped at me to not discipline her child. My dad pointed out that my girls were the ones balancing spoons on their noses. My mom said none of the grandchildren had manners. Within minutes, everyone had fled to separate corners. Later, my dad called me to his bedside. There was a palpable sense of fear I couldn’t remember hearing before.
But lying in bed afterward, I began to wonder: Was he right? What is the secret sauce that holds a family together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, happy? It turns out to be an astonishingly good time to ask that question.
The last few years have seen stunning breakthroughs in knowledge about how to make families, along with other groups, work more effectively. Myth-shattering research has reshaped our understanding of dinnertime, discipline and difficult conversations. Trendsetting programs from Silicon Valley and the military have introduced techniques for making teams function better. The only problem: most of that knowledge remains ghettoized in these subcultures, hidden from the parents who need it most. More articles about Warren E. After a while, a surprising theme emerged. The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.