Advice: Healthy families have a system

There is no such thing as a perfect family, but there is what experts call a functional family — a healthy family system consists of certain traits that allow family members to maintain a healthy and loving relationship with each other.

A functional family always has a leader. Parents or an adult in the family who is responsible for setting the rules and ensuring that the children’s needs are met in a safe and positive environment.

Rules and boundaries are necessary in a family as well as having clear consequences when children misbehave.

In healthy families’ parents model to their children how to communicate their feelings and allow family members to express themselves without being judged.

Allowing your children to vent and tell you how unfair they think you are being is OK as long as they do it in a respectful manner.

Children learn how to communicate by watching their parents. If you yell, they will yell. If you curse they will curse. The adults in the family set the example for everyone.

A healthy home has family members that work together as a team. The accomplishments and merits received by one member is celebrated by all. In this kind of environment everyone feels loved, appreciated,and supported by their family.

Being able to count on each other makes family members feel secure and they feel blessed to have a group of people they can always turn to.

A functional family never has favorites. Every child is loved for their uniqueness and is never compared to their siblings.

Every child is different and he or she will shine in their own way. A parent’s job is to see their uniqueness and give their children the support they need to find their way in life.

A healthy family environment provides everyone with the opportunity to apologize when they make a mistake. Holding grudges or continuously bringing up past transgressions is not how you help a child move forward.

It’s not always easy to raise your children in a healthy family environment if you were not raised in a functional home.

However, you can choose to change the future of your family by committing to do things differently.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent coach with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom.

Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily, Instagram mlsalcines poweroffamily or contact her on her blog FamilyLifeAnd FindingHappy.com.