In the span of the last 24 hours, I’ve heard or read two reports about the importance of relationships.
The first came from Search Institute with research about how schools can help parents help their children be good students. Typically, the emphasis has been on “parental involvement"--meeting with their child’s teacher, attending school meetings and events, and volunteering.
Has this been the wrong emphasis? While recognizing that these opportunities may be of value, what is of more value, says their research, is helping parents with something that most are more willing and able to do: influence the quality of their family relationships.
The strengthening of these relationships, Search Institute’s study shows, built high levels of five actions:
When high levels of these five actions were reported in the parent-child relationship, “they were also significantly more likely to report that their children have developed key character strengths including perseverance, conscientiousness, self-control and the ability to work well with others.”
These characteristics have a huge influence on “life outcomes” in school, workplace, and health—well beyond the immediate classroom.
How can we, as “the church” support parents and grandparents in building up relationships in the home? How can we provide other healthy adult relationships in the lives of children and youth that reflect the identified “five actions”?
And what does this all mean for preparing young people to learn and grow in the Christian faith? Where should the emphasis of the church be to positively influence future generations for their relationship with God?
Check out GenOn’s Family ‘round the Table as a resource that builds relationships around the dinner table on a regular basis—a useful, fun, and faith-filled tool for parents and grandparents.
Consider implementing a LOGOS ministry for your church--an intentional, sustainable, engaging approach to building relationships cross-generationally that also includes parents and pastors so that people of all ages can experience an abundant life-giving relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Look into our summer Youth Summits for high school students and older as a week of faith-growth and relationship-building.
Read the article ("Parents Aren't Teachers--They're Parents) from Search Institute here.
Tomorrow: Part 2 on research from Germany on the importance of the teacher-student relationship