As a therapist helping families to heal, I view the family as a system with smaller subsystems interacting as one cohesive unit. Within the family system, the smaller subsystems include the parent system, the husband/wife system, and the sibling/children system. If your family is like mine, then those subsystems also include extended family members, such as, the grandparent system, the aunt/uncle system, and the cousin system. When these systems are functioning in a healthy way, then the family system can produce healthy, loving, well-adjusted individuals who act responsibly in the larger society.
When families function in a healthy way, love is present; forgiveness is ongoing; communication is effective and open; and each member of the unit feels valued and respected. Each member of the family acknowledges that no one member in the family is higher than or above another member, and no one is better than the other. We are all made equal in the sight of God and he made us all as imperfect but perfect beings, so no one person is placed higher than another person. When families recognize this, then each member of the family feels valued and there is no “sibling rivalry,” there is no jealousy, there is no feeling disconnected from your family, and there is no isolation.
Families are the place where we learn how to get along with others, solve conflicts, and interact socially. Families should be safe places to grow, learn, and explore. When families are filled with love, trust, support, and respect; then individuals thrive and are productive members of society.
So, I ask you what is the health of your family? Are each subsystems of the family and each individual in the family operating as a cohesive unit? Does each member of the family feel valued and loved? As a parent, do you love each of your children unconditionally or are you fostering an environment of unhealthy competition or rivalry among your children? Are you loving your husband or wife unconditionally? Is your family a safe place for each member?
I challenge each of us to start the dialogue to determine the health of your family. Just as you do an annual health exam, start conducting a regular exam or physical on the health of your family. Let’s start today with creating whole, healthy, loving family units. Begin today to check the health of your family.
If you want more help with creating the healthy family that you desire, contact Dr. Daphne King at 703-539-2266 to schedule an intake appointment today.