In the day to day headlines we often hear of the problems plaguing families. In this edition of Insights, we want to turn that message around and look at what makes families successful.

One of the first scholars to conduct scientific research on healthy families was Herbert Otto of the University of Utah. Otto's research concluded that shared spiritual and moral values, consideration, common interests, love and happiness of children, working and playing together were the traits identified most in successful families.

In 1989 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services invited a dozen renowned researchers to Washington and asked them to find common ground on the traits that build a successful family. A full link to the research can be found here. Prefer a Cliff Notes version? Select the image above, or here, for the top nine traits across all researchers. Among them; communication, encouragement, commitment.

While times certainly have changed since 1989, the traits shared then resonate today. As fall approaches and parents and grandparents watch the next generation move on to independence, college, high school, elementary or even pre-k ... this year will be like no other. Whether virtually, hybrid or in person, the traits identified in this research can create a reflection and connection point for even today. Best wishes from all of us at Meristem in this "Back to" season.

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