Family Power

The term Family Power came to me out of no where. I knew I was not the first to think about such a term and that it may have other meanings apart from the one I was thinking of. With that in view I decided to do a quick search on the internet and I found out that “Family Power” was an Indian reality family game show. My understanding is that this game show was aired from November 2017 to April 2018 and was produced by Pixel Pictures Private Limited. Funds raised in the final episode were used on cochlear implant for children suffering from hearing loss. I went further and found one of the recorded shows on YouTube and sure enough the evidence of team work and co-operation was evident on the stage. As to why that show was named “Family power”, I am sure it is not farfetched to imagine that it had something to do with teamwork.

I also found out that there is a group called “Movement for Family Power”. Their goal is to fight to end the Foster System’s policing and punishment of families and to create a world where the dignity and integrity of all families is valued and supported. Their aim is to shrink the Foster care system. Then there is another movement called “Family Power” On their Website it states “Together we want to bring about a change. A change to care for vulnerable children in their own family and community.  I became interested in this movement and wanted to explore their website.

As one continues to search I am sure more will be discovered regarding the use of the term “Family Power”. I also found a definition which states “the ability of one individual to change the behavior of the other family members“.  Immediately after reading this I found my thoughts migrating to a negative perspective as the words “abuse” and “bribery” came to light. But I quickly nudged myself back to objectivity and continued my free thinking on the term. “Family Power” is not necessarily used negatively, right?

During my search I also found an article called “Sharing Power in Families” posted on the Website “Keep Connected”. I loved their discussion on “sharing power in families”. There were two statements that jumped out at me. The first states:- “Sharing power is the way we influence, learn from, and work with each other in our family relationships. Sharing power with kids helps prepare them to be responsible adults. The second statement nicely complimented the first ” Families grow stronger when they become intentional in how they share power and influence each other.”

Isn’t it amazing how much time we invest in exploring ideas and theories in an effort to ensure our lives are effective? We can find studies and discussions on practically any topic; we are never short of information. I didn’t know that this two-word phrase had already received so much attention. Feel free to further explore the phrase “Family Power”.

When I first thought about the term “Family Power”, I envisaged its meaning as the positive influence, support and encouragement that comes from one’s family that acts as a motivational force driving family members to dream, to embrace failure with growth in mind and to relentlessly pursue their goals. This was a result of my brainstorming. I was thinking of a unit that has the potential to produce powerful and influential people through unconditional care and support.

My brainstorming adventure lead me to think of “Family Power” as the force responsible for minority citizens achieving big things, for single parent moms raising NBA stars and for families having a taste for what miracles and impossibilities look like.

When I thought about family power, I thought about families surviving poverty, abuse, racism, teenage pregnancy, imprisonment, drugs and a world of crime. I remembered the life story of Serena and Venus Williams depicting a daring fearless dad who fought for the success of his girls.

Is my interpretation of “Family Power” any different from what I saw through the Indian game show and those social movements? I think the meanings are more alike than different. Whether it is a game show, a movement or a layman noting her thoughts, we may all agree that that the bottom line of these activities is to make families stronger.

The question is what are you doing today to make your family more resilient, richer, closer and more influential? Do you positively impact each other, are you uplifted by each other and motivated to excel or does your family constantly remind you of your failures and all the things that are impossible to do. As parents it is our duty to provide a home environment that promotes individuality, room for discovery and growth, sharing, co-operation and support and most of all unconditional love. When your family’s culture is healthy, every member can soar, every member can breathe through their challenges and finally experience success. This too is Family power!

Here are some ideas for strengthening your family:

  • Establish family values. You can start off by having a discussion on what members of your family think your family values should be. Make sure to involve them in the process.
  • Try to include educational activities a part of your family time, not just strictly fun activities. For example: Look at a video that speaks about “the long-term effects of insufficient sleep” or a documentary about “animals going extinct”.
  • Be involved in each other’s projects and lives. For example your son has an assignment to complete, you can offer to review the assignment before it is submitted or your daughter was invited to a beach picnic, be sure to be available to pick her up and drop her off or your parents have decided to start a garden, get on board by volunteering to wet the plants. These are all powerful ways to say “I am with you”, “I got you”. Psychologically and emotionally, this is power.
  • Commend your family when progress is made or when growth or improvement is achieved. Be careful not to praise them in a manner that encourages them to think that only 100% is acceptable. This is not a realistic view. Instead consistently encourage them to work towards their best.
  • Avoid highlighting failures and blunders negatively. Refer to failures for teaching purposes only. Remember words are extremely powerful. Speak success only!

As we experience this gift called “Life”, may we be always intentional with our words and actions. May we be constantly seeking to uplift others. The power of influence is real and effective whether within the ambits of the family or the community.

Be blessed.

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