- Family and Parenting
Ten Qualities of a Healthy Modern Family
Healthy families today come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be blended families, single parent families, adoptive families, same sex parent families, or traditional heterosexual parent families. No matter what the makeup of the family happens to be, modern families can be strengthened when there are common goals and shared values among family members. The following list of qualities of healthy families represents some of the more important qualities for a strong family life but the list is certainly not exhaustive. While many families won't have all of these qualities they help to provide a benchmark to which families can aspire.
A good way to discuss shared values and goals
1. Healthy Families are Committed.
In a healthy modern family there is a strong sense of commitment towards the health and growth of individual family members as well as the family unit as a whole. Families benefit when family members encourage and support each other in their individual pursuits. We also have healthier families when there is a commitment to the overall well-being of the family. This means that sometimes we do things for ourselves and other times we do things because it helps our family. Finding a balance is the key.
3. Modern families benefit from clearly defined expectations and values.
While parents make most of the rules in a family and also explain the value of the rules, children are more likely to benefit from having input. A parents job will actually be easier if they ask their children to help determine some of the rules and consequences. Equally important is that when family members state they believe in certain values (i.e. be kind) it is easier to give them direction when they are reminded to follow their beliefs. Modern families can benefit from family meetings that involve discussing the values they have in common.
2. A healthy family is optimistic.
Even in difficult situations, strong families try to find a silver lining. More importantly they operate with an absence of pessimism. They might not assume things will always work out perfectly, but they also don't believe that failure is inevitable. These families do their best even when facing difficult or trying times.
4. Family life is strenthened when families do things together.
In today's often hectic and busy lifestyle it is even more important to find the time to do things together as a family. This can be anything from an informal activity (going on a bike ride), to a routine activity (eating dinner at a regular time together- even if it only happens once a week), to an organized activity such as attending a walk for cancer as a family.
5. Healthy families have a sense of purpose.
When the family as a whole and individual family members believe they have a purpose and something to
contribute to each other and the world around them, families tend to be
stronger and family members develop a stronger bond. Finding a commitment to something more important than themselves as individuals or as a family also helps a family develop a stronger bond with the larger community around them.
7. Healthy children and families have a sense of belonging.
Family members in a healthy family feel like they belong and are accepted by each other, even when they have differences in some of their interests or differing personality styles. As a whole the healthy family also has a sense of belonging in the larger community, and individual family members tend to feel a sense of belonging in different segments of the larger community.
6. A strong modern family uses problem solving strategies
A healthy family uses problem solving strategies when faced with difficult situations. Rather than react automatically or emotionally to difficult situations in their lives, strong families rely on problem solving strategies to determine and map out possible solutions. They do their best to find solutions that make sense and try to avoid knee-jerk reactions.
8. A healthy family knows how to have fun!
Family members in a healthy modern family are
capable of laughing, joking, and having fun in positive ways that do not
diminish the value of other family members. Humor is always valuable in good
times as well as challenging times. When people respect each other and have common goals they are more likely to enjoy each others company.
10. Healthy families are flexible.
Members of a healthy modern family know
that being too rigid can lead to difficulties. The family as a whole
understands that adaptability is important. Strong families also know there are
external resources that can be accessed to help balance the internal resources
they already have. They aren't afraid to access these resources when they are needed.
9. A healthy modern family communicates clearly.
Family members in strong healthy families know how to communicate their needs and feelings with each other. They feel safe enough and respected enough by each other to be able to share their beliefs and feelings in an open and honest way. Members of healthy families know how to communicate in a way that can be heard by others so that they can receive the positive support and encouragement they need.
TV shows about families
What is your favorite of these family themed tv shows?
Favorite Family Quotes
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. Desmond Tutu
There's no road map on how to raise a family:
it's always an enormous negotiation. Meryl Streep
A happy family is but an earlier heaven. George Bernard Shaw
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