Common Traits Of

 Emotionally Healthy Families:

 Achieving Interdependence

©1994 by Lewis N. Foster

The Family:

1.  exists for the individuals (not) the individuals existing for the family;

2.  faces and works through stress, conflict, anxiety, grief, tension, anger, disappointment, sickness, etc.;

3.  honors people as more important than their performance;

4.  talks to each other about thoughts and feelings, not about each other, and accepts that all feelings are okay, and knows that some secrets do exist which may be needed to support healthy boundaries;

5.  allows each person to be responsible for their own actions;

6.  can be loving and joyous and do things together;

7.  can celebrate growth and change;

8.  has clear flexible rules (few rigid rules) and no fixed roles;

9.  is relaxed, energetic, respectful, nurturing, responsive, intimate, protective of each other, value individual differences, and maintains self-esteem and self-awareness;

10. is open to discuss all subjects;

11. gives respectful criticism and appropriate consequences for actions, not punishment;

12. avoids putting the "should’s" on each other;

13. has a strong parental coalition with parental and marital boundaries;

14. maintains a continuous non-destructive power struggle;

15. keeps surprising each other;

16. exhibits unconditional love and tough love if needed;

17. has healthy priorities, reasonable expectations, shared responsibilities, and can make commitments;

18. yields support not enabling;

19. can be inefficient and appropriately social while functioning as an effective system;

20. and survives on a continuum vacillating from chaos to enlightenment.

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