Your Family Is Wonderful


Something to be Proud of: Your Family System

Tradition says:

1) Families are dysfunctional.

2) Families are disenfranchised.

This is bull! Labels like these perpetuate global defeat promoted lowered self-esteem in parents promote low self-worth in parents

Then, parents pass these devalues down to their children.

Why is labeling such a problem? Tell me PLEASE!!!! What does it give to you to work with? What can you do with dysfunction? How can you overcome disenfranchised? How can you become functional? What is functional anyway? How can you become enfranchised?

We have to fix this mess. We have to stop buying into it!!!!!




My family is not dysfunctional! My family is not disenfranchised!


I was wrong to call my family dysfunctional. My family is a wonderful loving group of people. We know each other and we love each other. We communicate easily with each other. We share a wonderful life together.

Think about these twelve major things for your family.

1) My family has a major purpose. My family has something very important to accomplish that cannot be accomplished by any other group of people (and pets, also). I can look around and see our central theme.

2) My family has resources, both tangible and intangible. What I have available as a family makes it possible for us to do what we have to do. That makes it possible for my family to carry out its purpose.

3) My family is a network. People and institutions are included in my network. These are the people to whom my family is connected to help me accomplish my purpose.

4) My family has a structure and a leadership style. I have bonds and unique leadership styles. Some families are really close and all over each other while others have spaces in your togetherness. Either bond is okay. Some families rigid, others flexible and others are chaotic. Our style that fits us.

5) My family recreates in ways we prefer. What do we do for fun? As individual members? As a family unit?

6) Each member in my family has specific responsibilities. Whatever responsibility each person handles is that person's contribution to meeting the needs of my family.

7) Each family has its own interactional style. In other words, my family interacts to the environment in a particular manner that is unique. In addition, members of my family interact to each other in ways unique to themselves and often in ways that each member understands. People outside my family unit may not know what our interactions mean, but each of us knows. So, how do the members of my family get along with each other? The range is from apathy to reactive (bouncing off each other) to helpful and caring and productive.

8) Every family is somewhere on the family life cycle developmental scale. I may be part of a family joining. I may be in family with young children, a family with adolescents or a family launching young adults. I may be part of a sandwich-family, with children and elderly parents. I may be in a family in retirement.

9) Family education is an ongoing process. Every family is focused on something and is attempting or struggling to learn something together - whether it is "how to survive" or "how to run a family business" or "how to juggle work and family".... the list could go on. My family uses a variety of methods for learning, anything from "recall" of how it was done in "my" family of origin to very formal coursework.

10)Each family has its own management system. Within the family management system, the leaders of the family determine how decisions are made and how they are carried out. Our management may be the authoritarian or the role model or the egalitarian to list just a few.

11)My family involves itself within the larger community in many different ways. How do we handle this? Do we just follow the going trends or are we trend-setters? What kinds of involvement do we have? Is it minimal or are we actively involved and making sure our opinions are heard and perhaps even, acted upon in some way?

12)Our family evaluates itself each time we go through stressor events. Whether we are consciously aware of this or not, it happens. Something happens. We deal with it or don't deal with it and we judge ourselves as a family based on how we handled the situation. Some events are minor, others are major. Some stressor events are developmental - occurring over the course of time, others are sudden and unexpected. How do we view ourselves as a family in relation to the stressor events?

When I look at my family with the 12 components of the family experience listed above, I can bring it up to the group to talk about it together. As a unit we can decide what our strengths are and what we need to change. We can see if we want to pay more attention to some things.

That we may have neglected one or more areas and things are a mess or things are not quite what we want them to be does not make us "dysfunctional". It merely means we have some work to do with our family to get it moving in the direction we want.

We may be off center from our family purpose. We can get to where we want to be. We may not have even known we had a purpose. One thing I can count on: if I ask the question "What is our purpose as a family?" Something will emerge as outstanding that all the members of my family gravitate to. It is the glue that holds us together as a unit.

Well, this is surely enough about "the family you can be proud" of for now. If there is something in this information that you would like further elaboration or clarification on, e-mail Indoma.

Have a wonderful family!



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