40 Traits of a Healthy Family
   


by Marvel Harrison and Terry Kellogg


A Healthy Family:

--Notices, labels and affirms feelings

--Shares openly and honestly about feelings

--Has an abundance of communication with each other and the world

--Teaches active listening

--Provides an environment of trust and safety

--Encourages the uniqueness of individual members

--Respects privacy of thoughts, feelings and space

--Openly expresses spiritual beliefs and values

--Teaches risk-taking

--Celebrates and acknowledges the family's strengths

--Teaches respect for the environment and each other

--Is sensitive to and protective of vulnerable groups

--Stands up for and supports each other

--Practices rituals without rigidity

--Values history and tradition

--Embraces change

--Develops a humorous and playful posture toward life

--Models giving and service to others

--Challenges with physical and intellectual activities

--Has an open-door policy with the world, but maintains a sense of family

--Is balanced in child- and/or adult-focus

--Models forgiveness and healing

--Encourages critical thinking and questioning

--Competes without being competitive

--Adults model adult intimacy and are available to children's needs

--Is open about problems and seeks help from outside the family

--Allows and notices consequences of behavior

--Approaches conflict with an intent to affirm and learn

--Responsibilities are earned, not assigned

--Provides information and access to information

--Is non-blaming and gentle about mistakes

--Notices and supports work

--Operates through love and responsibilities rather than rules

--Allows and encourages grieving and losses

--Uses outside resources for individuals as well as the family

--Understands child development stages

--Has a balance of family exchanges and connections

--Respects ownership and models sharing of property and money

--Views children as a miracle of the gift of life

--Allows space to grow