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Checking the Emotional Health of Your Family

Updated on December 1, 2013

"So Family, How Is Everyone Doing These Days?"

"Bad news--we're all out of our minds...  so you are going to have to be the lone healthy person in this family."
"Bad news--we're all out of our minds... so you are going to have to be the lone healthy person in this family."

The Health of Your Family

If you have a family, then you have 'health' as a whole, that must be considered as a one.

The family is the basic unit of our society. Therefore, our communities are only as healthy as our families. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Lets look at the family, as a body - of individuals. In a healthy family we seek for unity. Each individual member of a family has the need to be accepted and nurtured as part of the whole group/family.

Simply put, when all members of a family feel needed, supported and loved they tend to also feel safe to be who they are and blossom into the individuals they are meant to become. That scenario within a family would be considered as having good family health.

A Family is People Committed to Each Other

Whether your family is two or three or more, it begins when two individuals are aware that 'they' are a family. It means that you are looking out for the well-being of more than the self.

Family - I am not here to define a family, or families and what constitutes a family. That is for you to determine for your family. My only suggestion will be, that once your family is defined that you recognize that your family has health that must be given a check-up regularly.

Let's focus on three areas of a healthy family and discuss briefly what these three systems of the family or the body are - and why it is critical that they are functioning properly in order to maintain a strong foundation upon which to raise well-adjusted individuals.

It Takes Work to Create Healthy Families

The Power of Three - Working Together to Create a Healthy Family

Healthy families tend to enjoy a ‘climate’ versus a temperature that can be read or arbitrarily checked by a general list of do’s and don’ts. We do not read a climate, rather we observe it, feel it, and most important experience it. The entire body of a healthy family should feel this climate, because they ARE the climate.

Although I will not suggest a specific list, or criteria for any of these things for your particular family we will identify three areas that you can focus on and observe with better awareness for overall good family health.


Have you ever heard the silly cliché, “two’s company, three is a crowd”? The individual who coined that phrase, which has become a way of basically saying “you are not welcome” obviously was a selfish person. In reality, the only person that an individual of this mindset could possibly be thinking of is, well... the self.

Think about it... Do you ever refer to anyone in your family as ‘company’? No. Company comes and goes but family is home. We normally think of having ‘company’ as entertaining those within our home that don't live there. Interesting is if now we apply this concept and understanding of ‘company’ - again to the phrase...

The Cranberries - Ode to My Family

Two is Company- Three is a Crowd

When checking the health of your family you could look for symptoms such as is there anyone showing signs of not wanting to connect with the rest of the body/family?

This is a simple diagnostic that you can observe to know if your family is functioning well together. If you have one member who is disconnecting then consider the entire unit's health a concern.

When the whole body, has a down system in this manner -- then the health of the entire body, or family, will suffer from poor health.

Each individual, who is part of your family must feel part of the whole, personally, in order for you to remain a healthy family.

  • We feel LOVE, when we are part of a healthy family.

An Apple A Day - Keeps The Doctor Away?

Only IF The Apple Has Been Hand Picked...
Only IF The Apple Has Been Hand Picked...

Personal Well-being As It Relates to the Health of the Family As a Whole

How about another cliche' - "one bad apple can spoil the pie".

Not just a slice mind you, but the entire pie. Interesting observation in this cliche', is that until you slice and partake of the 'pie' it is not discernible that the pie is spoiled. I hate that!

A thing looks good! You want it! Your mouth is even beginning to water at this point. You go to the trouble to carefully slice a single piece, place it on a well-chosen plate, and might even take the time to heat it up if need be.

You find your favorite spot to indulge and make yourself comfortable, so that you might revel in every bite.... ready? You lift your fork and delve into that mouthwatering desert and YUCK!

You spend the next five minutes in recovery, getting over the bad taste of it, the disappointment of it, and now you must recover from having such trust broken.

You, were tricked... right? Deceived!

You, will NEVER look at mom's homemade apple pie the same. I believe that we call this 'becoming' disillusioned.

Yes... over apple pie.

Because our families health, is THAT important, the individual must be attended to regularly and gently in order to yield a good crop.

Healthy Families Feel Loved, Feel Needed and Feel Secure.

To Be Loved.
To Be Loved.
To Be Needed
To Be Needed
To Be Safe.
To Be Safe.

A Healthy Family Builds Trust Within the Family

Family should and must be the safest space known to each member of the family . As my own children were growing up, I made certain that they knew that other people would come and go throughout the course of their lives. But, no matter what happens in life their family would always be right by their side.

Therefore, treat family members with the utmost regard, because this relationship that is developed in a healthy family is critical to the emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of each individual in the family.

Every person within our family has the 'right' to know that within their family is safety from all things that would hurt them, be it physically or emotionally, because these systems are so very critical to their ability to have good spiritual health and well-being throughout the entire rest of their lives.

Building trust in your family, is most likely the single most powerful system in the 'body' that IS the healthy family. A healthy family understands that it is their job to protect and defend their family.

Individuals need to know that 'family' will take care of their emotional and physical needs, at all times.

  • We FEEL LOVED in our family, when we know we are in a SAFE environment.

Having a Healthy Family - Is to Feel Loved, Safe and a Part of Something Lasting.

Who can measure the power of the healthy family? As we observe the world around us imagine if each and every member of society had the blessing of being a part of such a family?

It seems a simple thing, that 'Individuals' can provide conscientiously for their families; those that they have become committed to, these few basic requirements for good emotional well-being.


When these three needs are met in each individual member of our family, it is assurance that we have a healthy family.

We cannot expect that because we are 'called' a family that these needs are met. A healthy family will be engaged as a whole in seeing that each system and individual is well cared for and receives regular check-ups to insure good health.

When love is present within a family members will learn to trust that they are bound to a healthy family unit that will strengthen them as they go out and away from the 'heart', which no matter where they go that foundation from whence they sprang will be a continual source of life.

This is the ideal family, and heaven knows each of our families are a work in progress. I think the most important thing to keep in mind, is that you need to engage each member of your family to understand the importance of what a family is and how each member can contribute to the individual emotional health of other family members. Raising the awareness of what you'd like to achieve within your family, will help the entire body feel a responsibility to help obtain that climate their family. As individual members recognize the value of how they feel in this climate, it will increase the desire of the entire family to continue to build and maintain strong family health for the whole.


What do you think is important to maintain a healthy family?

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    • profile image

      clint 9 years ago

      Nice- great way to understand the dynamics of the family and to analyze the familys health.

    • Write On! profile image

      Write On! 10 years ago from United States

      Thanks for stopping by and becoming a fan. I hope that you will always feel that what you read on my Hubs is of value to you.


    • BarbaraMay profile image

      BarbaraMay 10 years ago from Canada


    • Write On! profile image

      Write On! 10 years ago from United States

      Yes, and I have found that to be true with my family of growing up. Although each one of us are like night and day... we will always be there for one another. There a powerful element to family that I hope all find, even if it is not the the roots of which they sprang from.

      Everyone needs a place to call "family"! But it is work!


    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 10 years ago from California


      I love the fact that you pointed out, your family will always be there, even when friends come and go. I used to discuss this same principle with my teens, and now that they are older, the instruction has proven true. I think a healthy family is one who spends time together and shows that there is value in each and every individual, making value in the whole. Thank you, wonderful HUB. (If you are in the contest, for what it is worth, you would get my vote so far... excellent!)