Family Works

Well-adjusted families

Rob Coombs ID. Min. Ph.D.
Posted 11/12/17

Speaking on well-adjusted families

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Family Works

Well-adjusted families


Is your family well-adjusted? Below I have listed several characteristics of well-adjusted families. As you read, think about how your family handles life.

1. Change. Well-adjusted families can adjust and adapt to change. This is not to suggest that change is easy for families as often change is stressful, frustrating, and anxiety producing. Nevertheless, well-adjusted families find healthy ways to cope with change.

2. Problems. All families have problems. The difference between well-adjusted and poorly adjusted families is how the problems are viewed. Poorly adjusted families tend to point the finger of blame at each other, maybe singling out an individual family member as “the problem.” In contrast, well-adjusted families view problems as “family problems.” When one member of the family is hurting, the whole family hurts. The family works to solve the problem in the shortest amount of time, so that healing can begin.

3. Connection. There is strong connection across generations. Both weaknesses and strengths that reach three or four generations back are understood and appreciated. From this understanding there is continual effort for growth as a family.

4. Uniqueness. Even with strong connection, there remains both an acceptance and appreciation of differences. In contrast to poorly adjusted families that tend to believe that everyone must think, believe, and behave alike, differences are celebrated as the spice of life.

5. Direct. Rather than talk around a problem, the problem is squarely and forthrightly addressed with (and only with) the persons that are directly involved. There is none of that talking with someone else out of fear of facing the individual directly.

6. Sharing. Open communication is encouraged. Families are free to share both thoughts and feelings – without fear of judgement or condemnation.

7. Support. Right or wrong, the family's members support each other as persons. Even though they may be disappointed or disheartened concerning what another family member has done, they support the person as he suffers the consequences of his or her choice(s).

8. Belief. Well-adjusted families both individually and collectively share a deeply held belief system. They stand ready and willing to stand by what is right, even when such a stance may not be popular.

9. Perspective. Each family member thinks his or her family is a pretty good family to live in. Although never perfect, there is gratitude for the family in the present moment.

Well-adjusted families tend to produce well-adjusted individuals, generation after generation after generation. For this reason, actively working toward making your family healthier can be a gift that keeps on giving.


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