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Oct 3- Healthy Child- Healthy Family?

Posted Oct 03 2009 10:02pm
Or is it Healthy Family- Healthy Child?

Emotionally speaking that is...

There's much of a stereotype out in the world today. It says that if your children are 'typical', high achieving, athletic, bright, respectful, and diligent that your family is a 'healthy' family. And I beg to differ. I believe strongly that it's not the child's attributes that will cause a family to be 'healthy', but a family's attributes that cause a child to be healthy.

A few questions for us all to consider (myself very much included):

How often do you sit at the house (without the TV on, no radio, not a passing conversation in the car, not while multi tasking) and talk with your children?

When was the last time you played hide and seek, read a story, played Candy Land, had your child help you cook (and by help I don't mean "you go set the table, you've been told 10 times already"), or took a long walk with your children?

What is your first reaction when your child disobeys. Is it based on frustration? anger? a desire to help your child learn the skills to succeed in life? Does it matter what time of day it is, what you've done that day, or who's already crossed you?

Do your children respond to your 'nice' voice or does the 'discipline' voice have to come out for them to pay attention (guilty!).

What does bedtime look like? Are your closing words for the night said through clenched teeth? Do you relax and snuggle in with your kids as you lay them down for bed? Do you have a routine they know to expect and respect?

When was the last time you said "I love you" or gave your child a long hug or a kiss? When did you last tell them they make you proud? Or that you like their drawing? Or that they're doing good on an assignment?

Do your kids see you model the behaviors you want them to have?

Do your kids see you show (appropriate) love and respect to your spouse? Do they see you interact kindly or do they see the stares, ignored comments, and avoidance?

I think that the answers to those questions will give a much better idea of whether a child and family might be 'healthy' or not. It's not so much that a 'healthy' child makes for a healthy family. Because by those standards we must be very unhealthy with three children with T21! But looking at what makes a family healthy-- I can't say we're the epitome of wellness, but I can say we're pretty well most of the time :) Sporting those extra 21's and all...

I'm sure there are plenty more questions that could be added to this list... feel free to leave some other 'heart check' questions in the comments!
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