Importance of Families
To recognize the importance of families, family roots, and participation in family activities.
Peer group relationships become increasingly important from ages 12 to 14, and adolescents may try to distance themselves emotionally from their families, especially their parents. This lesson reminds students that (1) although families may share some characteristics, every family is different, and that is okay; and (2) taking part in family activities is an important way to develop a sense of belonging.
Discuss the meaning of family and what forms families may take:
• two natural parents
• single parents
• foster parents
• brothers and sisters
• aunts, uncles, cousins
• other relatives or friends.
Have students write a list of their immediate family members (those who are most closely related or who live with them) and ways in which they spend time with each of them (examples: eat meals, go to church, read, play ball, watch television, go shopping, work around the home).
Ask students to select their three favorite activities and to note when and how often they participate in them, who else participates, and why they enjoy the activities so much.
Ask students to write some of these activities on the board. Discuss how families differ in what they do together. Emphasize that differences are okay. Ask students to jot down an event or accomplishment in their family history that made them proud (examples: a brother graduating from college; a sister winning an award or trophy; parents immigrating from another country to build a better life; grandparents raising an extended family). Ask students to name some of these events or characteristics. Discuss how every family has reasons to be proud.
• Do not push participation by students who are hesitant or who might have family problems.
• Encourage students to discuss special events in their family history with their parents and other relatives.
Learning to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program