We may wonder if our families are healthy or unhealthy. We may even know that our families have room for growth but we are uncertain how to facilitate these changes in ourselves or others that we love. What follows is a brief description of seven qualities that a healthy family might have. See if you can identify with one or more of these qualities in your own home.
Authority – A healthy family maintains authority, but also has flexibility. An unhealthy family is autocratic and inflexible. In a healthy family, the parent would listen to each individual in the family and reach a compromise based on the good of everyone involved.
Sharing Time – A healthy family makes time for everyone in the family. An unhealthy family has very little time for individuals to be together. The healthy family knows time needs to be budgeted or shared in order for everyone to get a chance to feel that they are special members of the family.
Quality Time – A healthy family shares quality time which includes those moments when parents and children exchange thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It’s a time when fun activities are shared, or when the family can do something together. In an unhealthy family parents and children rarely spend time together.
Feelings – A healthy family acknowledges, accepts and shows feelings. An unhealthy family discourages any display of feelings. In a healthy family, members are encouraged to feel a wide range of feelings: happiness, sadness, anger, peace, pain and fear to name a few. But in an unhealthy family, members may only know how to feel one or two feelings, such as anger or sadness.
Honesty – A healthy family shares openly and honestly with each member of the family. An unhealthy family accepts lying and keeps secrets.
Cooperation – A healthy family cooperates with each other as a team. An unhealthy family focuses on only one or two people.
Growth – A healthy family has room for individual growth and nurtures this growth. An unhealthy family discourages individual growth and rarely nurtures its members. It’s important that individuals are given encouragement, support, and love-all the elements of nurturing-to help in this growth process.
To learn more about how to build on your family’s strengths as well as how to deal with the struggles that your family may face, please attend the Building Healthy Families workshop on 27 November at The Counselling Centre from 6:30-8pm.
The facilitators for the workshop will be counselors Susan Schlosser and Susanne Clements from The Counselling Centre and Cindy Blekaitis from the Women’s Resource Centre.
The workshop is free but space must be reserved as seating is limited. Please call TCC at 949-8789 or WRC at 949-0006 to register or for more information.