Although every family is different, there are certain characteristics that healthy families share.The quality of the relationship is more important than family configuration. A healthy family relationship provides members with the support, encouragement and empathy that they need.
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Healthy families engage in positive and meaningful communication. Family members listen to and genuinely care about what the others are saying. In healthy families, communication is on a deep enough level that all members are able to share their feelings, goals, accomplishments and experiences. When feedback and constructive criticism are given, love and affection are made clear by the use of positive words.
Commitment to the Family
In healthy families, members hold family as a top priority and consider the impact on relatives before making important decisions, according to the article "Parent Support" from The University of Alabama's Parenting Assistance Line (PAL). Family members are dependable and always there for each other in times of crisis. Therefore, members do not feel they are on their own or don't have anybody they can count on.
Spend Quality Time Together
A characteristic of healthy families is that they spend time doing enjoyable activities together. "Healthy families tend to select activities that promote the family as being important and help the family to grow closer," explains Richard L. Sale, Ph.D., in the article "Characteristics of Healthy Families," published by the Center for Parent Education of the University of North Texas. Often, these activities become family traditions, such as sharing meals together, having family outings every weekend or playing sports together.
Respect Each Other
Respect is an important characteristic of healthy families. Family members accept that they each have their own personalities, qualities and interests. Everyone plays an important role in the family. When there is conflict between family members, it is resolved in a positive and healthy manner. Family members also acknowledge each other's accomplishments and show appreciation for other members.