One of the goals for our staff this year is to revisit our Mission Statement and reflect on how successful we are being with regard to its three components:
• Finding student strengths and building upon them
• Preparing to establish strong families
• Serving in our communities.
Recently we have been focusing on the second part of the Mission Statement. We have been reflecting as a staff on the families that we were raised in and what made those families strong. The Laurance Family, the one my brother John and I came from, was strong but far from perfect. There were good times and there were hard times. In spite of the ups and downs, I can truly say that being a member of this family provided me with an invaluable foundation upon which to build a successful life.
So what is a “strong family”? Here are some characteristics that I saw in my own family and I see in so many Beechwood families:
Strong families understand that conflict is part of the process. They stay close to each other even when they are not getting along well. They forgive each other rather than carrying resentments forward.
Strong families are growth oriented. They look for new ways to understand each other and to support each other. They believe that they can make changes to get better as a group. They are open-minded about new approaches to raising children.
Strong families make time to be together. They enjoy each other’s company by going places together, by attending each other’s important events and by sitting together for meals. They listen to each other and have fun together.
Strong families support each other during trying times. Life throws challenges at us. If a family member is sick, or a family elder passes away, or a parent is having trouble finding work, it is time for the rest of the family to step up to help in any way they can. The support of family can help us persevere when we face these inevitable difficulties.
Strong families cooperate to take care of necessary tasks. Cooking, cleaning, shopping…so many things to do everyday. When families work together, with everyone pulling their weight, the day-to-day duties are much more manageable.
Strong families recognize that each member of the family is a unique individual with their own strengths and weaknesses. All family members are valued for who they are, not someone else’s idea of who they ought to be.
We will continue to do our part here at Beechwood to have the students recognize the strength in their own family. It is our hope that the idea of a strong family is one that they will carry with them and put into practice, if and when they choose to start a family of their own.
– Mr. Laurance