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Indian Nations CouncilThe Greatest Show on Earth


What is the Importance of the Family?

The family is the most important single factor in the molding of a human being.  It either prepares him to reach for his ultimate destiny and fulfillment, or it cripples and inhibits him from attaining his original potential.

Families learn to love and understand one another by spending time together, by sharing activities.  Values are passed on from generation to generation as parents take the time to build relationships with their children as individuals and within the family circle.

One thing is certain:  It is not easy to find time to build the kind of family unity we have been talking about.  It seems as though society in general obstructs the family as it tries to walk the way of togetherness.  Think of the competition:  School activities, television, fathers commuting or working out of town for extended periods of time, church and youth programs, sports, etc.

We are responsible for our own schedules and we can find time for family activities if we really want to.  It depends on what we value.  If we value the family then we will sacrifice less important activities.  If we do not value the family then it will indeed be "impossible" to find the family time.

We are not saying that family time is a cure-all for all family problem, or that the family will be free of hassles if they spend a lot of time together.  Family togetherness, however, creates a climate of closeness that makes family members think, "We will work this out because we care.  We are a family."  This closeness lasts even after the children are grown and the family is no longer physically together.  Our children will not remember all we say or do, but attitudes that are important to us will stand out.

What is a Family?

When we talk about "family" in Cub Scouting, we could be referring to several different types of groups.  Many Cub Scouts do not come from traditional two-parent homes.  Some boys lives with a single parent, relatives, or guardians.  Whoever a boy lives with is his family, as far as Cub Scouting is concerned.

¥ A family is people giving and receiving love.  How often do we come right out and say something like:  "Son, I'm not pleased with what you did, but I love you anyway, regardless of what you do."

¥ A family is people getting angry with each other but sill loving one another.  The important thing is whether we can let off steam without losing our love for each other.

¥ A family is loving the differences about each other.  Each member of the family is special and unique.  Do we enjoy each other's difference?

¥ A family is people talking and listening to each other.  It sometimes takes courage to talk about a problem.  When children know that their family will listen,  They will discover they feel better after talking about it.  Unfortunately, when children discover that we're not listening, they sometimes stop talking.

¥ A family is people caring about what happens to each other, and letting it show.  There is a warm discovery in learning that the family cares.  Encouragement foes a long way in showing that we care.  As family members help boys cope within the home, they will learn to cope with similar situations outside the home.  We should kino and accept our own strengths and weaknesses as adults and be open with our children about out joys and anxieties.

¥ A family is people laughing and crying without feeling ashamed of it.  The sound of laughter is beautiful, but there is a difference laughing at someone and laughing with someone.  And we all feel like crying sometimes.  A tear in the eye isn't something to be ashamed of, it's natural.

¥ A family is people sharing with each other and with others.  Each day has at least one or two small successes.  They need sharing in a family.  This is a chance to look for what is good in a day.  There is pleasure to be gained in giving and receiving recognition for small victories, as family members grow closer by sharing together.

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