Five Factors of a Phenomenal Family: Chris and Beth

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"Family First really emphasized that we were on the right track, and how important it was to keep on building on that solid foundation," says Beth, who has been married to Chris for six years and has two sons; 5-year-old Ryan, and 2-year-old Jack. "What I realized when I read Family First is that the rituals that we really don't think much about, really are important to the children." Some of these family rituals include having Christmas dinners and Easter egg hunts, and saying Thanksgiving blessings.


"I think the most important thing should be spending time with your family," says Chris, who points out that birthdays are very important in the family. "That's their special day," he explains. Other rituals include celebrating Halloween by dressing up in a theme, and the family getting the Christmas tree together. "I do think I have a phenomenal family," Chris admits. "I hope that Ryan and Jack, as they grow up, can look back and think about all the positive things, and eventually become confident adults with wonderful families themselves."


They had to be strong as a family when they learned Ryan has diabetes. "Sometimes I am in awe of how amazing he is. I look at him and I think, if he can do this, so can I," says Beth, who was scared at first. "Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to have an amazing family, and this book for me, cemented that I was doing good."

Dr. Phil addresses Chris. "I think it's so amazing that you have bent your whole life around having these children, to the point that you've shaped your career where you can work from home a lot to be there," he says. "Tell me about how you arrived at that decision and made that happen."


Chris explains that he was a social worker until Ryan was 3 years old. "I was spending more time at work than I wanted to, and I wanted to be with the kids a lot more," he explains. When Jack was born, he switched to a sales career that allows him to work from home. "I get to spend a lot more time with the kids."


"One of the things I talk about in Family First, under rituals and traditions, is something I thought you guys had a great example of," Dr. Phil says. "You have to teach your children about your family, and about who you are and where you came from ... You are storytellers to your children so they have this sense of continuity to their history."


Beth explains that their sons like to talk about the past, especially about when they were little and when she and Chris got married. Through this, they have kept alive the memory of Chris' grandfather who died two years ago. "We still talk about Great Pop Pop. Our pictures are around of him," she says. "We're still blessed with him every day in our lives."

"The people at Wal-Mart, were just really moved by your story," Dr. Phil tells them. They have decided to give Chris and Beth a $2,000 shopping spree at Wal-Mart. Beth is shocked and is brought to tears.

"We just want you guys to really celebrate your family," Dr. Phil says. "So we also talked to the travel experts at Expedia.com, and they think it would really be important for you to take a vacation." Expedia is giving Beth, Chris and their sons a vacation package to any of the Beaches Resorts in the Caribbean. "They're also throwing in one of their most popular activities there," Dr. Phil continues. "Swimming with the dolphins!"

"That's Chris' dream," Beth says. She and Chris are excited and grateful.

"You guys are inspiring a lot of people, so we wanted to give you a vacation hug," Dr. Phil says.

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