Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Finding Family

It's back to school for me and Algebra is as mind numbing as ever, even on the Intermediate level.

However, I am taking a Dynamics of Family Relationships class that is proving to very interesting indeed.

Chapter One: What Defines A Family?

As you might guess, the definition of a family is very broad and is not neccessarily limited to mom, dad and 2.5 kids. Everyone in the class is pretty much on the same page with this view.

However, our instructor asked us to list 10 Characteristics of a Healthy Functional Family. After completing our lists, we were supposed to team up with another person and share. While I didn't hear everyone's complete list, I got snippets here and there of a few. This is where I was more than mildly surprised.

Here are three (I can remember) characteristics that seemed extra special:

  • multiple cars
  • 4-5 children
  • church going

First and foremost, I don't believe there is a healthy, functional family on the planet. I believe we all have varying types of DYSfunction, some more acceptable than others. But am I doing something wrong if we only own one car? Do churchgoers have a better family life?

Are these things people really see as important to the family life?

So, tell me, what would your list say?


2boysmama said...

Wow, are these 18 yo's in your class?

Healthy family: one that communicates, and not just a surface level.

SuperMom said...

Ah, one would think. But the woman who wrote the first two was older than I with two teenagers.

Anonymous said...

I think that a healthy family has what it, specifically, needs to function -- so where yours might have churchgoing, another might have multiple cars (although that does boggle my mind a little...)

C D said...

a healthy family realizes and recognizes each person as a unique person with individual characteristics and feelings (in other words, expectations for each family member are only for that family member, not as the first child, the baby, the smart one, the one who takes after Uncle Charlie etc...) -- as foreign as those individual characteristics may seem to the other members of the family.

I think a healthy family loves in the sense that love is a verb... they may not like each other very much, and yell and scream and call each other names (which I can't stand) yet when there is a family member in need, the family is there for each other without judgement or condemnation.

And most certainly "Friends Welcome! Family by Appointment" -- :D :D That makes for a healthy family too -- know thy boundaries ;-)

Sheen' of Diaper Harlem said...

I am a simpleton..It would say,
"Love one another and serve and value each other." When those thing are truly done then everything else seems to fall in line. It's what is in the heart that counts.. not what's seen on the outside.
I enjoy your insights that you share.. maybe we should join up and discuss my social inequality class! Talk about a brain buster! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

My Healthy Family List:
- Puts God First
- Respects Boundaries of Other Family Members
- Sees Quality Time as a Priority

Anonymous said...

De-lurking for this discussion! Great topic Supermom!

I think a healthy family has the following:

1. Communication between its members
2. A desire to serve one another
3. Love- shown in different ways depending on the family member

We only have one car, and while we may be dysfunctional, I don’t think that’s what puts us into that category.


heather said...


Rhen (yestheyareallmine) said...

Some of the things I think make for a healthy family are - putting God first, loving parent(s), respect for all members of the family (young and old), quality time, laughing and crying together, personal space when needed and realizing that your children will always imitate you so you have to be careful about what kind of example you set. There are many more but I didn't want to have a 500 word comment! LOL

Alyssa@Life from my laptop said...

I do believe church going is helpful. The 2 cars thing, maybe it causes less fights?? And the 4-5 children what was that person thinking? Anyway, I do like your blog... it intrigued me so I blogged about it at

Alyssa@Life from my laptop said...

Oops... I mean to put

Ladybug said...