Traits of a healthy family

Healthy families have variety of traits that provide well-being.

Researchers across the country and around the world have found that strong families have a wide variety of qualities that contribute to a family’s well-being. The first step in developing the strengths of one’s family is to consider those areas in which the family is doing well and those areas in which the family members would like to improve. Below is a list of six qualities that researchers have identified as indicators of a strong family. 

  • They show each other appreciation and affection. For example, they help each other, keep promises, and show affection to each other.
  • They are committed to each other. Strong families are very loyal to each other, share responsibilities, make decisions together, allow members to make their own decisions with support, and find it easy to trust one another.
  • They practice positive communication. Families that eat together regularly communicate (as long as the phones and TV’s are turn off). They like to share feeling with each other and cue into each other’s feelings. Put downs and sarcasm is rare.
  • They have strong coping skills. Families with healthy well-being tend to be resilient. Crisis brings them closer together and they are supportive of one another. They look for something good from a bad situation and tend to accept the things they can’t change.
  • They have a healthy spiritual well-being. It is easy for them to share spiritual values and beliefs with each other. A positive attitude is the norm and they have a sense of peace.
  • They truly enjoy spending time together. There is shared a common interest with strong families. They have lots of fun together and often laughter is plentiful. Unplanned spontaneous activities together are common. 

As a family, take the time to review these six characteristics and identify your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Create a plan to work on the areas you would like to improve and begin to reap the wonderful benefits. Michigan State University Extension offers a variety of educational program throughout the state focused on this topic visit their website for more details.

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