Note: Raise your child in a functional family.
Children who grow up in dysfunctional families are more likely to be drawn into gangs.
What are the core elements of a functional family?
Functional families encourage and provide:
Respect is of utmost importance in a functional family and is not easily achieved among all family members, but healthy families eagerly pursue it. It means everyone is considerate of one another. They love and care for each other consistently.
They create an emotionally safe environment.
In an emotionally safe environment, all family members can share their opinions and thoughts without being shamed or belittled by other members.
They are resilient.
In a family where relationships are healthy, people are more resilient. When tough times strike, they can support one another and pull through. Resilience requires healthy living, including eating and sleeping well and getting enough exercise.
Everyone is allowed privacy.
Every family should allow family members privacy of space, body and thought. Examples are to knock and ask if you may enter another room.
Family members are all accountable to each other.
In functional families, members share where they go, with whom they are and when they will be home – it creates trust and helps others not to worry. It is vital for children that parents know where they are, and parents should teach children that from their early years.
Functional families apologise.
In functional families, people apologise to each other quickly and remorsefully when they wronged the other. Teach children from when they start talking to practice apologising – so that it becomes natural to them. It prevents rifts. Learn to ask forgiveness.
Functional families allow the expression of emotions.
In functional families, members can show what they feel – within reason. If you feel sad, you may cry. You may show anger if you are upset. If you allow and talk about emotions – you can teach children how to cope with difficult emotions – without them flying into a killer rage.
Functional families are careful with teasing and sarcasm.
Teasing can be lighthearted and enjoyed even by the teased person. Functional families don’t label people with nicknames that hurt or make sarcastic comments. Sarcasm hurts and achieves nothing.
People are allowed to grow and change.
People are not labelled in functional families – because that tends to put a person in a box. Instead, members are allowed to grow and develop as unique individuals. Their differences are appreciated. Kids are encouraged to become independent in the different phases of life.
Parents lead by example – a mom can, for example, decide to further her education. Everyone is allowed to grow to become the person of their destiny.
Functional families have parents that are a team.
Adults in functional families pull together as a team in the same direction. Children need to see and feel their parents are trustworthy and in control, whether married or divorced.
Functional families are courteous.
Members of functional families know words like ”good morning, good night, thank you, excuse me, or You are welcome.” They teach good manners, which goes hand-in-hand with respect for one another.
Functional families encourage good relations between siblings.
Siblings in functional families have each other’s backs – they can work and play together. If they quarrel – parents allow them to find solutions, which again empowers them. Problem-solving among themselves teaches them skills they will need as adults to find their way in the world.
Functional families provide clear boundaries.
In functional families – parents are parents – they are not their kids’ friends. They lay down rules for the family. Although they have good relations with their kids – they will ask permission to join a game between children or teens or befriend them on social media. They respect each other’s boundaries and privacy.
Functional families take care of each other.
They support and have each other back – even when a child calls for a ride from a party that got too wild.
Functional families laugh a lot.
They have a good sense of humour, and they treasure it. As a family, they make time to do fun things together. They have ‘inside’ jokes and favourite stories, anecdotes of memories shared that delight and re-enforces a healthy bond.
They have meals together.
It is said – the family that prays together stays together. Same with having at least one meal per day around a table without cell phones. It is hard to do in today’s society, but research shows that communication within a family is enhanced if we eat together and allows as much talking as possible.