All of us have a mother and a father, but not everyone has a family. Healthy family relationships are what make a society strong. When every member of the family feels loved, supported, and respected, they are happier, they function better, and contribute more to society.
What are the qualities of a healthy family relationship? Check this list.
Foundations of Happy, Healthy Relationships
Healthy family relationships feel safe
Every person needs to feel seen, heard, understood and accepted. This is what makes them feel they have a reason for being and have a purpose in life. The family should be the people that provide that respect and appreciation.
Because everyone is unique and different—even in families—conflict between members will arise. Parents may fight, siblings will squabble, parents and children will argue. This is perfectly normal. What matters is the way you, as a family deal with these conflicts. There should always be respect. Members should feel safe to say whatever they think or feel without fearing rejection or painful repercussions.
- Respect everyone, even the youngest member of your family. Listen to their thoughts.
- Assure your family that you trust them and they can trust you. You can do this by being dependable, reliable, and fair.
Constant and open communication
The home is where families should feel they can be truly honest. Children can count on their parents and their siblings to listen to them and not be judged or ridiculed. Spouses can share their fears and goals and know that they will be supported no matter what.
Healthy families constantly talk with each other. They share everything from what happened to their day to their hopes and fears. Every member knows they can be honest because they have love and respect in their home.
- Create a home where everyone knows they can be completely honest by being honest first.
- Encourage chats and discussions. Be interested in the details of every member’s life.
Healthy family relationships are the result of commitment
Every member needs to know that the family’s wellbeing is the priority. Children can rest in the knowledge that their parents are committed to each other and their kids. Spouses feel safe and loved when they know that heir marriage comes first, no matter what. Loyalty and commitment are the foundation of good family relationships.
It is also important that a family share chores and responsibilities. This is what establishes your family as a unit—helping each other to function. Every member must feel that:
- They need to pitch in
- Their role matters
- Their family needs them to participate in activities
- Family can depend on them
A family is also stronger together. Spending time together is what makes everyone know and trust each other. This is how you can share common goals, learn new skills by doing chores and hobbies together, learn about each other’s beliefs when you go to church or talk about important issues. Share your likes and dislikes, find things to laugh and cry about together. This creates a sense of belonging.
- Value your marriage. Show your spouse and children that you are committed to your partner.
- Prioritize family gatherings—from ordinary dinners every night to annual family vacations.
Healthy family relationships are openly affectionate
Touch and words of love build everyone up. A healthy family shows affection to each other, may it be through hugs or high fives, or gifts or services. Love and affection can also be spoken or written. These regular displays of kindness and thoughtfulness are proof of love.
- Know the love language of your family and respect it. Your spouse may prefer you do the dishes over love letters, for example. Your teen may prefer a chat over coffee rather than a big kiss.
- Affection also means telling your family they can count on you for support. Show up at school plays. Offer to watch the kids while your spouse naps.
Healthy family relationships protect their members in tough times
When a family is strong, every member becomes resilient when times get tough. When people know they have a safe home, and when they are loved and supported, they can handle negativity, problems, conflict, and stress better. In particular, grief and loss can be a very emotional period wherein people need support.
Everyone goes through difficult times, but healthy family relationships offer protection because the members can cope better. They have a strong support system that makes them adapt positively to whatever life throws their way.
- Be there for your family when they need advice or just to talk.
- You can assure your family that you are committed to helping them in times of trouble.
The dynamics of families are unique and different, and it is important most especially for the parents to build healthy relationships with the respective members of their families. By being compassionate, thoughtful, and supportive, parents can significantly help their children to seek and build healthy relationships of their own should they decide to start their own families.
Learn more about a Healthy Mind and relationships here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.