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Healthy Vs. Unhealthy Families

by
author image Julie Boehlke
Julie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to camp with friends and family. Julie spends her free time writing, working on her novel and brewing up new recipes of wine—her newest hobby. She enjoys scouring junk shops and antique boutiques in search of rare finds and one of-a-kind treasures. She collects vintage dishes and antiquarian books. Julie spends her days being followed around aimlessly by her most adoring fan—Mushu the pug. She ventures out on weekends to the remote trails and deep north woods of Michigan. Julie also enjoys exploring out of the way nooks and crannies along the great lakes shoreline.
Healthy Vs. Unhealthy Families
A smiling and laughing young family laying on a rug. Photo Credit: altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Family dynamics are different for every family. Some families display healthy qualities in the way they take care of themselves and how they rely on each other for support. Healthy families make positive choices with all aspects of individual and family life. Unhealthy families often make poor choices or do not reinforce their family structure. The result is often a broken home or problems within the family unit.

Polarities of Healthy

Every group of people--even a family--needs a leader. In families, the leaders are the parents. Healthy families have parents who spend time with their children both inside and outside of the home and encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports and social events. They encourage their children to talk about their feelings, according to the American Psychological Association. These types of parents also have a healthy self-esteem and teach their children to value themselves. In unhealthy families, the parents often engage in self -loathing or critical behavior. They often treat each other and their children disrespectfully and are not there to lend support through difficult situations.

Healthy Dose of Activity

One way that parents can spend time with their children is by engaging in healthy activities with them. Duke Health states that parents and homes with healthy activity have a profound influence on a family's health. Bike riding, playing outdoors and swimming not only keeps a family physically healthy, but emotionally healthy as well. Parents who exercise with their children are also providing a role model for a healthier lifestyle. An unhealthy family may disassociate from one another by spending more time playing video games, watching TV or being on the Internet.

Family Functions

When members of the family team work together, it makes for a more organized and productive household. Oftentimes, everyone takes part in chores, meal preparation and decision making. Part of working as a team includes positive communication, explains the University of Minnesota, Duluth. If families practice using positive communication for everyday life, they are more capable of handling stressful situations such as financial issues and conflict resolutions, whereas families who don't communicate may turn to substance abuse, affairs or detachment in order to cope.

Healthy Prevention

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore families need to ensure that every member is taken care of. Eating well, having regular check-ups and exercising can improve moods and help everyone live up to their full potential. The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that family members who get their daily recommended exercise feel better about themselves, which can lead to a happier family unit. Scheduling family time while also making time for each other on an individual basis will help keep everyone strong and happy. Seeking help for substance abuse problems, education issues and mental health problems will also help make the family unit stronger.

Healthy Potential

Keeping everyone together is the goal of most families. If your family is unhealthy or ends up arguing or not wanting to do things together, you can improve and strengthen relationships by giving everyone an equal chance to voice their opinion and thoughts. A healthy family stays involved in each others' lives and provides ongoing support. Meeting each others' emotional, social and mental health needs are important for long-term success.

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