By Steve Goodier
It takes some adjusting to live in a family. Like changing your
attitudes about children and the kitchen. I used to by picky. But
my philosophy now is more like Erma Bombeck's: if it walks out of
the refrigerator, let it go!
Some people never make the adjustments. George Burns used to say,
"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family
in another city." But for most of us, happiness is making the
most of our family life, in whatever form and shape that family
Family consultant Dolores Curran published what she considered
"Traits of a Healthy Family" (Mass Market Paperback, 1984), drawn
from responses of more than 500 professionals who work with
families. Here are a few of the top qualities shared by families
* Communication and listening. Are you working at this?
* Affirmation and support. A southern (USA) migrant worker told a
sociologist that "home is a place to go back to if things get
rough out there." If you cannot receive affirmation at home,
where else are you going to get it?
* A sense of play. Charlie Shedd says, "Whenever parents ask me,
'How can I keep my children off drugs?' I say, 'Have fun.'" The
family that plays together, stays together.
* Shared responsibility. Everyone helps out; everyone pitches in.
* Trust. The fastest way to drive a wedge between family members
is to violate it.
* Shared religious core. Does your family share similar spiritual
No family is perfect, but these six traits should help any of our
families to be happier and healthier!
Steve Goodier's books & newsletter: http://LifeSupportSystem.com.