Thursday, December 20, 2012


FWR Says:  Teens are our future parents

In the “good old days” we could predict our family’s future:
  • Where we would live and who our neighbours were
  • Our work and income level
  • The church and school we would attend
  • Our family values and beliefs
Today family life with teens is also predictable:
  • We will argue about time to be back, cars, homework
  • We will live in different cyber worlds with cell phones and internet
  • We will have good times together and bad times when apart
  • We all will focus on school, grades and careers
  • We will worry about smoking, drugs and sex 
  • We will argue about who’s boss
What is not predictable is what our family will be like in a few short years.  Those who are now teens will be calling the shots.  They will decide:
  • Will we be a close or distant family
  • How important will money, career and status be?
  • What will be the family values?
  • Will the family have a spiritual base?
  • Will the family contribute to the community?
  • How will the next generation be raised 
Being parents is the toughest job with the least training.  If families with teens were focused on these mighty questions of the future of their family, maybe the teenage phase would have a better focus for all family members.

FWR Says:  Teenage is their time to get ready to lead their own families

Monday, December 17, 2012


FWR asks:  Why are we all in a spiritual muddle?

The family is surrounded by 57 varieties of religion.  There is little evidence these religions are helping children to do better.

Why the muddle?  All these religions have their own rules, beliefs and routines.  Who knows who has it right?  Since they all think they have it right, Joe and his family haven’t the time or interest to figure them out.

Many of these religions have their big, life-giving message buried in a complicated clutter.  So, their focus is on their own beliefs - words, routines and structures.  This can’t help Joe answer faith’s big question:

                  “What’s it all about?”

Joe doesn’t need another religion.  He needs a faith for his family.  Soon his young ones will go out into this muddled world.  At the very least they need to know what their family believes.

FWR Says:  Joe and the family should decide together “What’s it all about”

Sunday, December 09, 2012


We live in a money world. It is hard to think of anything that is not seriously influenced by money. Business, the media and governments want us to think that more money is our big need.

Our lives are chained to the banks because there we borrow rather than save. Business sells lots of useless stuff and suddenly lays off 200 people. The media feed us a tsunami of half truths because they always have one eye on their profits.

All this can mean family slavery to the dollar. This happens while the family’s first job is supposed to be the wellness of their children. The family has sole responsibility for wellness in children.

The Family Wellness Rainbow identifies the six big ingredients in family and child wellness. Here is what money can do to our wellness:

Fitness:   We are so smothered by commercial wellness gimmicks that we neglect the basics of wellness such as regular exercise.

Relationships:   We let money in and our relationships become deals, competition or power and stuff.

Knowledge:   The avalanche of information from the new technologies spin half truths to meet media financial goals.

Family:   When money is the driving force, family life can become competitive, replacing vital bonds with fragmentation.

Values:  Money can determine our jobs and careers rather than our individual gifts and humane pursuits.

Faith:  Money is destroying the churches because they have often allowed expenses to overshadow their mission.

For a realistic picture of sound money management, here are the money rules of one CPA for his family:

      Separate fixed from optional costs

      Make saving a fixed cost

      A savings rate of 25% provides for education, retirement
      and insurance

      To do this, re-examine house and car indebtedness

      Get rid of online banking, debit cards and unused credit cards

      Pay down monthly credit card balances

      Limit internet purchases to rock solid sources only

FWR says: Money is the big elephant in the family living room.

Saturday, December 01, 2012


FWR Tells: A tale of two Jimmies

The first Jimmy is 8 years old with trouble concentrating at school. He is a quiet boy, but overweight.

Parents get a call from the school to meet regarding Jimmy’s learning difficulties. He finds it difficult to concentrate. At the meeting, the parents agree to some special interviews to see how to help him.

This good school system has special education teachers and psychologists. Jimmy has several interviews followed by a meeting with the parents. At that meeting the school staff recommends referral to a doctor for medication that would help Jimmy concentrate.

The medication helps.

The second Jimmy is the same age with the same school adjustment problems. After a meeting with the teacher, the parents decide to pay extra attention to Jimmy.

Jimmy comes to breakfast after making his bed. He is complimented on his homework. When getting ready for school, his Mom suggests he stick close to his best friend when the bully is around. After a hug he is off to school. After school he has several things to do. He can play with his friends, look after the garbage and set the table for dinner. If he still has time he can use his computer – no videos or games on school days.

After family dinner together, Jimmy can play but must do his homework. At bedtime one parent reads with him and stays with him for prayers.

What are the big differences between the two Jimmies? In the first case, Jimmy gets a new learning problem. Before, he was just fat. Now, he is fat with a learning problem. The big issue here is that Jimmy is viewed as a boy with a problem. The school does good work, however the medication eases but does not fix the problem.

With the second Jimmy, the big issue is attention by the parents. Jimmy gets the message that they care and he counts. He becomes more settled at home and is ready to learn at school.

A large research project in Atlanta was designed for 120 of the most troubled families in the city. In it, parents set goals for themselves with highly successful results. The independent research consultant claimed the most promising results were school adjustments that came from new attention at home. Pretty simple - the child is more settled to learn when the family is more settled.

FWR Says: Family Wellness is all about quality time with each other.