In recent decades, a growing number of researchers are devoting themselves in examining the secrets of happy families. The reason may be reflected by the remark of David Mace: "Nothing in the world could make human life happier than to greatly increase the number of strong families,"(1985). As the known marriage counselor, also the executive director of several marriage enrichment organizations in Great Britain and the United States has suggested, study of happy families allow people to recognize the relationship qualities that develop the cohesion and well-being of a family, therefore furthermore increase the number happy families.
Members from happy and strong families commonly suggest that they spend a lot of time together; they often talk and show affection to each other. Researchers also found happy families share similar qualities. According to the Family Strengths Model developed by John DeFrain, a leading researcher of family science, strong families characterize themselves with six factors: commitment; appreciation and affection; positive communication; time together; spiritual wellbeing; and the ability to cope with stress and crisis (Stinnett and DeFrain 1985). This paper will focus on explain the aspects of appreciation and affection, positive communication, and spending time together.
No families would be regarded happy and strong without appreciation and affection. Strong families care about one another deeply and they do not grudge showing affection and appreciation for one another. This does not only mean to show affection by saying “I love you,” but can also mean to express it nonverbally. In some cultures where people are not used to speak out or show their appreciation or affection for others directly, body language like cuddling can also pass on the affection.
Strong families are aware of retaining the positive emotions and a playful atmosphere in the family. They pay more attention on one another’s strong points and...
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DeFrain, J., DeFrain, N. & Lepard, J. (1994), ‘Family strengths and challenges in the South Pacific: an exploratory study’, International Journal of the Sociology of the Family, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 25-47
Haltzman, S.(2009), The Secrets of Happy Families: Eight Keys To Building A Lifetime of Connection and Contentment. CA: Jossey-Bass.
Olson, D.H. & DeFrain, J. (2000), Marriage and the Family Diversity and Strengths (3rd edn), Mayfield, MountainView, CA.
Stinnet, N. & DeFrain, J. (1985), Secrets of Strong Families, Little Brown, Boston.
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