Families represent a universal force in the advancement of societies of good manners, good education, and excellent values.
It becomes almost obligatory that solid foundations be founded to guarantee healthy families and thereby ensure fruitful relationships within the family nucleus.
Healthy families openly talk about money
The main problem for families is money: how it is going to be spent, who has the capacity to spend it, and if there will be enough money for the future. Healthy families have the same problems and concerns as others in this regard, but they are open about it.
When spouses disagree on how to spend money, the hidden issue is power: who has the right to make decisions, and why.
For this reason, many couples avoid discussing money issues: they do not want to bring up the dangerous issue of balance of power and dignity in their relationships. “We don’t talk about money,” a certain housewife confessed to me. “We don’t fight for him.”
Couples who talk about money share values and feelings about applying for loans, getting credit cards, and determining their children’s allowance; sometimes they get hot, but they always speak frankly. They acknowledge that collaborating on decisions is preferable to allowing economic pressures to explode later.
Reserve time for all its members
More than half of the married men and women who were consulted cited insufficient time spent together as a major problem. Instead, healthy families consider time to be a controllable resource, demanding the same attention as money. They prioritize and schedule time for family activities. Spouses meet for lunch or call each other during the day. They reserve some time “just for us”: run together at 6 in the morning or walk at 10 at night.
Families who get into the habit of playing often find that instead of losing teens to questionable activities outside the home, their children bring friends home.
In addition, healthy families accept the right to spend some time alone, for parents and children. However, sensible parents are skeptical of the quality versus quantity of time argument applied to childcare. Children need us when we need them and not only when the situation adapts to our program.
The situation is to convince our children that we are always at their disposal.
Healthy families retain parental authority-and flexibility
Effective marriages exercise authority without being autocratic.
They listen to their children’s wishes, complaints, and feelings, and make decisions based on what they consider best for each child and never abdicate when society or children object to it.
“Our teens can say what they want about sex and drugs but they can’t do what they want about it,” says one parent who was consulted. “We drew a line between words and behavior,” and they know it.
Parents who avoid stress set expectations and explain the rules clearly and reasonably.
However, these parents are flexible, able to give in without jeopardizing any rules themselves.
Healthy families divide household chores equally
Lack of shared responsibility at home was cited as the second leading cause of stress by married women, especially when both spouses work. However, well-matched families tend to share the responsibility for household chores.
We can expect children to “collaborate in household chores only if we clarify to them from the same tender age as possible, that the home is a cooperative effort, and not something that corresponds exclusively to the mother or the father.
The formation of healthy families is possible as long as the parents know how to responsibly and intelligently handle all those obstacles that arise, turning them into tools of strength for the family.