Posts Tagged ‘strong families’


COVID 19 has added stress to our lives in a way that just a few month’s ago was unimaginable. Now more than ever, it is important for parents to take care of themselves so they can take care of their children. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We know that when families are experiencing stress, children are more likely to be abused or neglected.

Protective Factors are “conditions or attributes (skills, strengths, resources, supports or coping strategies) in individuals, families, communities or the larger society that help people deal more effectively with stressful events and mitigate or eliminate risk in families and communities”. Strengthening Families identifies 5 Protective Factors to help families build resiliency and support:

  1. Parent Resilience: No one can eliminate stress from parenting, but building parental resilience can affect how a parent deals with stress.
  2. Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: Having accurate information about raising young children and appropriate expectations for their behavior help parents better understand and care for children.
  3. Social and Emotional Competence of Children: A child’s ability to interact positively with others, to self-regulate, and to effectively communicate his or her emotions has a great impact on the parent-child relationship.
  4. Social Connections: Friends, family members, neighbors, and other members of a community provide emotional support and concrete assistance to parents. Social connections help parents build networks of support.
  5. Concrete Support in Times of Need: Parents need access to the types of concrete supports and services that can minimize the stress of difficult situations, such as a family crisis, a condition such as substance abuse, or stress associated with lack of resources.

We all face challenging times in our lives, but when we have supports in place, we have the tools we need to accept, adapt or overcome them.  Building your own resilience is one way to support your child because it gives them stability and confidence in knowing that they can rely on you. Creating this type of environment for your child makes them feel safe and builds self-reliance, problem solving and self-regulation which are skills they will use throughout their lives. For more about resilience check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r8hj72bfGo.

For ideas and strategies to maintain your sanity and support your children during the pandemic, check out this Parent’s Guide to Surviving COVID-19 from the Brookings Institute or these resources from our co-workers at Iowa State University Extension https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/disaster-recovery.

Writer: Heather Reister, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County.

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.


Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families (2018). About Strengthening Families and the Protective Factors Framework. https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/About-Strengthening-Families.pdf

Gail Innis, Protective Factors: What are they and how can they help families? February 17, 2014, Michigan State University Extension, https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/protective_factors_what_are_they_and_how_can_they_help_families

Read Full Post »

Many families celebrate the holidays filled with rich traditions and rituals. These traditions and rituals help families bond together and give children a sense of belonging. The little rituals passed down from generation to generation help shape your family by creating a sense of unity, warmth and closeness. They create memories that fill your mind with peace, love, happiness, and security. With such busy lives, some find it difficult to find time to begin to incorporate family traditions throughout the year, but there are many small ways to bring traditions into our daily lives. Eating dinner together as a family, going for an evening walk, watching a movie, reading a bedtime story, or even cooking together can become part of a daily or weekly routine. These are some of the little things your children will remember as they grow older, and likely will pass on to their children. As the Super bowl approaches, so does another chance to begin and build family traditions. Simple, family activities can bring the family together as they watch the biggest football game of the year.

Plan the menu-Let your children help plan and prepare the menu for a Super Bowl party. A favorite dish prepared year after year can be part of the Super Bowl tradition.

Let the kids decorate. Get out some pens or crayons in team colors, paper, scissors, glue sticks, a stapler etc. Set up a T-shirt decorating table for children to design their own T-shirt. Let the children put on a fashion show as part of the half-time activities.

Indoor fun. Have a small football, yellow piece of cloth or some other small football-themed object on hand for a game of Find It! Have older children help the younger ones find objects hidden throughout the house. There can be special rewards depending on the items they find.

Table football. Make a paper football and create an annual table football tournament. Have a self-created Lombardi Trophy to pass down from year to year.

Kids love and thrive on traditions because they cultivate a sense of belonging and security. Making traditions a priority in family life is important as well as fun. By doing so, our kids will not only learn to appreciate and look forward to the time they spend with family members, but they will also develop a full understanding of the meaning behind the word “Family.”

More information about family traditions can be found at Ohio State University Extension Ohioline http://ohioline.osu.edu/flm00/fs12.html

Author: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Butler County/Miami Valley ERRA, green.1405@osu.edu.

Reviewer: Linette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio State University Extension, Ohioline, http://ohioline.osu.edu/flm00/fs12.ht
Traditions: A Foundation for Strong Families http://marriageandfamilies.byu.edu/issues/1999/December/traditions.aspx

Read Full Post »

What is your holiday family tradition? Do you have certain foods that you have to have on New Year’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or during a football bowl game? Do you have a special way you decorate your holiday tree, your porch, or front door? Do you have a special book you read together or a game you play? It doesn’t really matter what your tradition is, but it is important for strong families to have holiday traditions.

Research shows that developing rituals around the holidays create a sense of belonging among family members. Strong families have a sense of family history, spirituality, and unity – all which tie into family holiday traditions. Family holiday traditions are also important because they connect family members who may be separated by distance, working different schedules, or just busy with sports, school or jobs. These traditions help us to remain close to our family members and create a connection between our past and the future.

As you decide what family traditions you want to keep and those that you may be ready to give up think about why you enjoy them? Is it spending time together, sharing your talents with others, or maybe a spiritual belief you have? Holiday traditions don’t have to be expensive, often the things we remember the most about spending time with our grandparents is the day they taught use to play a special card game, or when they let us help make the favorite family meal. Don’t forget to ask you children or other family members what traditions they want to make sure you keep, and which ones aren’t so important to them – you might be surprised. They may say that the evening you drive around the neighborhood looking a holiday lights, making homemade cookies together, or reading the book about the snowman are their favorite things.

Here are a few fun family traditions:

  • Volunteer – work the food bank or donate toys or food to someone who needs it more than you do.
  • Camp out under your family tree while listening to holiday music.
  • Read at least one holiday book together.
  • Attend a community music program, play, or musical together. They are usually very reasonably priced and would love to have more people in the audience.

Written by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.


Holiday Traditions Bring Families Together, Texas Woman’s University, J. Armstrong.

Building Family Strengths, Clemson University Cooperative Extension.

Holiday Traditions, Ohio State University Extension, T. West.

Read Full Post »