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Employee Assistance Program → Topics and Tips: Healthy Families

Healthy Families

Families come in all shapes and sizes: two parent, single parent, blended, domestic partnerships, or any number of combinations. In fact, it's nearly impossible to define a "normal" family. Regardless of their makeup, healthy, strong families share certain attributes.

Healthy families: 

  • communicate openly 
  • adapt to life changes and stresses
  • have clearly designated but flexible responsibilities
  • spend time together regularly
  • are part of the community
  • are committed to each other and love each other unconditionally

Communication, respect, and acceptance are the building blocks of a healthy family. A healthy family also has clear limits, disciplines without using debilitating shame or guilt, and maintains well defined boundaries. Every family has times of conflict. There are bound to be disagreements. Families that learn to resolve conflicts in a positive, supportive manner can turn such challenges into an opportunity for growth and cooperation.

Tips for Parents

For more information or resources on parenting, contact EAP at 240-314-1040.

  • Be consistent in clearly explaining your expectations and consequences, then follow through with the consequences.
  • Take time for yourself: You can be a better parent if you take care of your own needs.
  • Treat children with respect: Treat them how you would like to be treated. If you're angry, think before you speak in order to give constructive advice rather than destructive criticism. More on anger management.
  • Be supportive and emphasize the positive.
  • Set children up for success: Give children age-appropriate opportunities to choose, negotiate, and learn to care for themselves.
  • Be a role model: take an honest look at your own behaviors and activities. Make an effort to change those behaviors you wouldn't find acceptable in your children.
  • Establish clear boundaries: Know your limits, and openly address your concerns in a rational manner before you've reached the end of your rope.
  • Nurture your children: Give unconditional love. For example, say "I love you and we can work together to do things better," instead of "Why can't you just do it right?"

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