Characteristics of Healthy Families

09/ 06/ 2016

    • • Commitment. It is important that all family members are committed to the family and to each other. Husbands and wives who are committed to the marriage have found a major way of keeping the marriage going. It is important that the family comes first over those outside of the family. Rather than letting outside activities take prominence over the family, those activities that do should be eliminated. Healthy families tend to select activities that promote the family as being important and help the family to grow closer.


    • • Time Together. Healthy families are ones that spend time together. The amount of time is often as important as the activity chosen. One important event that is often lacking in many families today is a family meal time. Healthy families spend this time being together, enjoying a meal and talking about what is going on in each of their individual lives. These families also spend time playing together and doing activities that all of the family members enjoy doing. Healthy families also have created family traditions including celebrating birthdays, holidays and other important events.


    • • Communication. An important aspect of a healthy family is communication. This involves listening to and supporting one another. It is important for parents to listen to their children as much as they expect their children to listen to them. Communication also involves conflict which is a part of every family. The healthy family is able to fight fairly and resolve conflicts that do occur.


    • • Appreciation. In healthy families there is an admiration for each other. Families respect one another and appreciate what each member of the family contributes. The accomplishments of each family member are valued by the others. Each family member looks for the good in the rest of the family.


    • • Spirituality. Although not all of those surveyed were members of a particular church or religion, they still felt that spirituality was important. These families had a sense of spiritual well-being. Parents are expected to teach their children right from wrong and present good examples of behavior for their children. It is also important for parents to teach their children how to make moral choices for themselves as they mature.


    • • Coping Skills. Healthy families are able to deal with crisis situations that may occur. Crises in families may be small or large, but healthy families are able to find solutions to their problems. They often depend upon one another for the support that they need. When healthy families cannot solve their problems they are willing to go outside of the family for solutions.


By: Richard L. Sale, Ph.D .


Office of Family Science Education, Research, and Policy


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