A Chinese warlord, desiring to leave his kingdom to his three sons, was on his deathbed. He instructed each of them to bring him several sticks. When they returned with the sticks, he asked the eldest son to pick the strongest stick and break it. It snapped on the second try.

Then he asked each son to give him the weakest stick from his bunch. He bound the sticks together with a cord and invited each son to test his strength against the bundle. No amount of pressure they exerted could break the sticks.

He admonished them to bind themselves together like the sticks and they would never be defeated. This translates today into team effort.

Success in building a happy family depends on producing quality members. Today's hectic world demands that we strengthen our family or watch it disintegrate. Most of us would like it better if the individual members of the family were happy!

There are two ways to approach the problem. First, we can demand that every individual shape up! "This is my house and I will run it this way." However, that is like separate sticks. No matter how strong, the individual can be broken with so much stress and pressure.

Second, we can work smarter and combine efforts at home when we find the cord that binds us together as we seek peace, teamwork, and happiness.

The trick is not to get everyone to be like everyone else. There are ways to identify your mental talents and those of all your family members regardless of age. The binding cord of such family cooperation is communications that are directly aimed at using the in-born style of each member.

Relationship Stages We all desire to have a happy family or belong to a loving, secure, nurturing unit of some kind. In fact, the need to belong is one of the most basic human needs.The basic theme is that happy couples were the ones who perceived their relationships as being happy. Parent and child relationships that excelled were perceived as satisfying. Another common denominator was that family members met each other’s needs in healthy ways.Much of this world’s pain and turmoil emerges from unhappy home situations. People blame religion or politics for their unhappiness, but it often stems from relationship hassles or deficits that they cannot always control.

You can measure level of your relationship with each member quaterly based on your own assesment.

  • Level- 1: Icebreaking You are not on talking term with the member. Or, you both are trying to understand each other. Or, you are in dating stage with this person.
  • Level 2: Sharing: You feel comfortable in sharing your concerns and needs.
  • Level 3: Co-creation: You both think together about devevlopment of something new.
  • Level 4: Synergy: You plant a try and take care of it , together. You are working as a team for a constructive cause.
Success factors of happy families
Let’s look at the six success factors of happy families,mentioned in the book "The Secrets of a Strong Family".

1. A happy family consists of individuals who are committed to each other. Those who long for a warm association in a family unit must place the family unit ahead of personal needs and desires. The greatest desire is the determination to stay together and to live in peace. One couple said: "Each of us encourages the other to pursue his or her goals. But both of us would cut out any activity or goal that would threaten our existence as a couple." In a word, that’s unselfishness.

2. A strong sense of appreciation permeates happy relationships. How different that is from the belittlement and criticism that marks so many relationships today. The strong and happy family expresses appreciation for the big things and the little things. The words thank you play like music in the happy home.

3. Healthy family units are marked by good communication. Someone said: "Communication is the essence of relationship." Without communication, there is no relationship. Research shows the average couple spends only 17 minutes a week in conversation. There are 10,080 minutes in a week. What does that say about the state of relationships today?

After marriage, meaningful conversations often become less of a priority. Perhaps that is one of the reasons married couples complain of boredom or a sense of sameness in their lives.

4. Strong families cultivate time together. When 1,500 children were asked: "What do you think it takes to make a happy family?" their top answer was—"doing things together." Spending time with children speaks volumes to them about our love for them. Children need to know that they are not a burden. The best way for a parent to express that is to include them when scheduling activities.

5. A happy home has coping ability. Problems pull strong families together. Problems pull weak families apart. Research suggests that strong families pitch in and help each other when tough times come, which is very different from families who place blame when tragedy strikes.

6. Strong families exude a sense of spiritual wellness. Healthy people have a sense of God in their homes. The only prayer many people pray is the blessing over the evening meal. Unfortunately, in those types of homes no real sense of God is cultivated. Healthy families are made up of individuals who act with integrity and who know that someday they will stand before God and be held accountable.

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