Category | Parents Ministry

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When people around the world describe the qualities that make their family strong, these are some of the things they talk about.*

Appreciation and Affection

  • We appreciate each other and let each other know this.
  • We enjoy helping each other.
  • We like keeping our promises to each other.
  • We like to show affection to each other.
  • We feel close to each other.
  • We like to be kind to each other.
  • We like to hug each other.
  • We enjoy being thoughtful of each other.
  • We wait for each other without complaining.
  • We give each other enough time to complete necessary tasks.
  • We are able to forgive each other.
  • We grow stronger because we love each other.
  • All things considered, we have appreciation and affection for each other.

Ability to Cope with Stress and Crisis

  • A crisis has helped us to grow closer together.
  • It is easy to find solutions to our problems when we talk about them.
  • It is always important to change the things we can.
  • We can work together to solve very difficult family problems.
  • A crisis helps make our relationships strong.
  • We try not to worry too much because things usually work out OK.
  • We are able to face daily issues confidently.
  • We like to support each other.
  • Our friends are there when we need them.
  • A crisis makes us stick closer together.
  • We always find something good comes from a crisis.
  • We find it easy to make changes in our plans to meet changing circumstances.
  • We have the courage to take risks that will improve things for our family.
  • We feel it is important to accept the things we cannot change.
  • We are adaptable.
  • We demonstrate resilience.
  • All things considered, we look at challenges as opportunities for growth.

Valuing Each Other and Demonstrating Commitment

  • Responsibilities are shared fairly.
  • Everyone gets a say in making decisions
  • Individuals are allowed to make their own choices.
  • We find it easy to trust each other.
  • We like to do things for each other that make us feel good about ourselves.
  • We have reasonable expectations of each other.
  • We allow each other to be ourselves.
  • We have a high regard for each other.
  • We respect the roles each of us plays in the family.
  • We find it easy to be honest with each other.
  • We accept that each of us has different ways of doing things.
  • We build each other’s self-esteem.
  • We are dependable
  • We are faithful to each other
  • All things considered, we value each other and are committed to our well-being as a family.

Enjoyable Time Together

  • We have a number of common interests.
  • We like to have fun together.
  • We feel comfortable with each other.
  • We like to give each other a chance to do new things
  • We enjoy hearing our grandparents’ stories about the past.
  • We enjoy simple, inexpensive family activities.
  • We like to have a place we call “home.”
  • We feel strongly connected to each other.
  • Hanging out together builds strong relationships.
  • We have lots of good times together.
  • We often laugh with each other.
  • Observing family rituals and customs is important to us.
  • We enjoy sharing our memories with each other.
  • We enjoy having unplanned, spontaneous activities together.
  • All things considered, we have adequate time for each other and we enjoy the time we share together.

Positive Communicaion

  • We like to share our feelings with each other.
  • It is easy to cue into each other’s feelings.
  • We like talking openly with each other.
  • We listen to each other.
  • We respect each other’s point of view.
  • Talking through issues is important to us.
  • We give each other a chance to explain ourselves.
  • We enjoy our family discussions.
  • We share jokes together.
  • Putdowns are rare.
  • Sarcasm is not generally used.
  • All things considered, our communication is effective.
  • We avoid laying blame.
  • We are able to compromise
  • We are playful in interactions.
  • We agree to disagree

Spiritual Well-being

  • We have a hopeful attitude toward life.
  • Our home feels like a sanctuary to all of us.
  • We have a strong sense of belonging.
  • We enjoy learning about our family history.
  • We feel strong connections with our ancestors.
  • There is a feeling of safety and security.
  • We feel connected with nature and the world around us.
  • We feel a strong connection with the land.
  • There is a sense of peace among us.
  • We believe love is a powerful force that keeps us together.
  • We benefit in many ways from our belief in a higher being.
  • It is easy to share our spiritual values and beliefs with each other.
  • Our personal religious beliefs are compatible with each other’s.
  • All things considered, we have strong spiritual connections that enhance our well-being.

Global Measures of the Family’s Strengths

  • We love one another.
  • Life in our family is satisfying to us.
  • We are happy as a family.
  • All things considered, we are a strong family.


* Based on Research with more than 24,000 family members in the United States and 34 other countries. This research has been conducted since 1974 by Nick Stinnett, John DeFrain and their many colleagues.

  • John DeFrain, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Family and Community Development Specialist, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 135 Mabel Lee Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0236. Phone: (402) 472-1659. E-mail:
  • Nick Stinnett, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Phone: (205) 348-7864. E-mail:


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