HEALTHY CHILDREN: Positive Family Dynamics

by Michael Corthell

The traditional definition of a 'normal family' is a married mother and father and their biological children living together. It may also include the previous generation. (picture The Waltons). But what is 'family' in the Western world today, especially in America? Do you think a new definition of family is starting to emerge in our society? Let's first look at why family is important. What purpose the family serves and what the dynamics are.

''The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,
but of respect and joy in each other's life.''
—Richard Bach

A family unit is foundational, that is, it is the base unit of society and even greater than that, it is what defines human civilization itself.

Let's look allegorically at civilization. View it as a complete human being. The family unit is then a cell in that body. Family is then is the original and basic cell of social life.

Optimally and traditionally it is a natural, basic societal group in which husband and wife are joined to give themselves to each other in love and to help God produce the gift of human life.

Authority, stability, and a life of relationships in that basic unit mirror the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within our societies and our civilization.

The family is a micro-community unto itself, in which we can learn moral values, begin to learn about God, learn respect, and how to handle freedom and responsibility. Learning to live in a family is an initiation into society.

''The family unit in terms of applied sociology is a micro level society, or the smallest structure of society within our vast world of societies. It consists of more than one person that forms the most intimate and personal of groups.''Applied Sociology

Statistically the common definition of family in America is changing. Often members of a family are not related by blood. Same sex marriage has changed the definitions of marriage. Does this change the importance of 'family'? Not at all.

How then do we maintain a good, healthy, nurturing family whatever its make-up?

Teach love and respect. Treat others with love, respect, and LISTEN, your family members will pick up these habits for themselves.

Be punctual and orderly. If you respect household items, the use of money, and pick up after yourself, your children will follow suit.

Instill healthy habits through sports and recreation. Exercise helps maintain optimal health. Sports teaches socialization, and learning how to follow rules.

Foster healthy eating. Eating healthy starts with healthy grocery shopping. This writer strongly suggests a plant based diet for optimal health because it is now scientifically proven to be the most healthy diet for mankind. (and please note that sugar addiction is real, and could be a worse epidemic than tobacco.)

Encourage interaction. Learning to be social is one of the most important lesson taught within the family. Talk to each other. Put away the technology once in a while.

Keep a eye on each other. Watch for changes in behavior. People don’t always come right out and say what’s on their minds.

Remember to laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. Humor and having fun enhances learning. Making sure that you add laughter and fun into every day is IMPORTANT.

Every family member needs privacy, quiet time. An important part of every family is the need of each individual to have their own private time away from each other to reset and recharge.

Clearly define family morals and values. Knowing what values that are really important to a family define the family. Make sure that values are well-known and understood.

Make time for relaxation. End of the day down-time also helps family members re-connect at the end of the day. Find time to sit and relax, maybe read a book, watch a movie together, or simply talk.

Creating a healthy family begins with love, respect, and participation. Maintaining a healthy loving family requires devoting time and effort to making sure each family member has an active voice and responsibility in the family's choices.

The family is basic, foundational and critically important. As the family goes, so goes society and the world's civilizations.

The future of families: four discoveries that change everything
| George Carey | TEDxNaperville

      For the past ten thousand years, the parent/child balance of power has been hierarchical with the moms and dads making most decision and kids following their lead. But in the last ten, a new generation of Millennial parents have replaced the family hierarchy with a family web: one in which most parents view their child as their best friend, moms and dads have abdicated as the primary seat of power, and most decision making is democratic. In short, the core values that guide families’ choices on everything from the brands they buy to the candidates they vote for look nothing like those of previous generations. In his talk, family branding guru and founder of The Family Room LLC George Carey takes a closer look at these changes, their impact on children, how they are changing the future of families and the future of our world forever.