Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Insights on the Family: Extended Family Lending Support--Continued Parenting

Extended families should lend support when needed.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Grandma Siler snuggling with our first little one.
The Proclamation was given in 1995 when I was just a young teenager. Through the years I would read this proclamation or hear it quoted. In this particular quote, that extended families should lend support when needed, I often thought it meant parents  should step in to help their adult children when needs arise. This might come in the form of helping them move, helping with child care, allowing the struggling family to live in their home for a time, checking in on the family through phone calls or other means, and so much more.

I know the parents in my life have done these things for my family as well the families of my siblings and in-laws. I have seen siblings moving in to my parents' home when they were transitioning jobs or homes. I have seen grandparents watching grandchildren when the parents were unable to be home. All these acts of love help strengthen these families and give the aid they need through stressful times.

Grandpa Rowe exploring with our two oldest.
Now that I am older, my family is getting older, my parents are getting older, ... everyone is getting older! I see that there is another side to this statement. In the book I have been referencing in this series of posts on the family, I have learned that the "the probability of living to 65 has doubled." The text shares that in 1900 the average life expectancy was 49 years old, while to day it is 77! That is quite the change. With people living longer, the need for the younger generation to step up and care for their elders has increased.

It is important for us to watch out for our family whether they are young or old. In this video clip the people are serving an elderly man who needs help, this is the kind of love and service we should give to our family as well as in our community. President Ezra Taft Benson said:

"We encourage families to give their elderly parents and grandparents the love, care, and attention they deserve. Let us remember the scriptural command that we must care for those of our own house lest we be found "worse than an infidel" (1 Timothy 5:8). ... If they become less able to live independently, then family, Church, and community resources may be needed to help them. When the elderly become unable to care for themselves, even with supplemental aid, care can be provided in the home of a family member when possible" (To The Elderly in the Church).

I am thankful for the love and support extended family has given to me, and I hope that throughout my life I can lend love and support as well. It is "important that family members work together and support each other. Despite the demands of care giving, this labor of love also brings significant blessings" (Chapter 17).

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