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Tip sheet:
Ten Processes (Qualities) that Support Healthy Family Relationships

(adapted in part from Norma Walsh’s “10 processes for healthy family functioning” in “Normal Family Processes”)

created by Gayle Peterson, including
Excerpts from
Making Healthy Families

Making Healthy Families

1. Connectedness of all family members: supported by the process of on-going commitment to the well-being of all members

2. Equitable sharing, respect and support between spouses: supported by the process of fairness experienced in the couples relationship

3. Successful nurturance, protection and guidance of children: supported by the process of effective parental leadership

4. Accepting differences: supported by the process of showing respect for individual family members differences and needs

5. Effective organization and stability in family interactions: supported by the process of building and maintaining trust and predictability

6. Adaptability: supported by the quality of flexibility in meeting internal and external demands of family life

7. Open communication: supported by the process of understanding between family members

8. Conflict resolution: supported by the skills and process for effective problem-solving

9. Shared belief system: supported through the process of teaching and passing on life values

10. Adequate resources for economic security and psycho-social support: carried out through the process of networking with kin, friendship, community and larger social systems

Congratulations! You have just completed an on-line course in what contributes to healthy patterns of communication. For the latest research on what contributes to healthy family relationships and promoting satisfying connections in your family, read:

Making Healthy Families
"Making Healthy Families"

Making Healthy Families explains the elements required to make and sustain healthy, functional families. This timely book describes the family life stages, from "Becoming a Couple," to "Becoming Parents," to "Raising Adolescents" and "Launching Children." It educates about the predictable stresses of each stage of development, and offers guidelines and hands-on exercises for achieving a healthy adjustment in each stage of family life.

A chapter on “Trouble Shooting” offers couples an opportunity to plot their own predictable stress points on the family journey, thereby allowing them to better master their particular life struggles. A chapter on “Divorce: Crisis and Transformation” offers advice to parents for helping their children and themselves through trying times. A chapter on “Stepfamilies” provides wisdom about the stages of stepfamily development that make remarriage rewarding, helping families avoid the pitfalls that cause over half of second marriages to fail.

Learn what makes families work—from structure and communication to family style and characteristics of healthy marital relationships. Cutting edge research is enlivened through real-life questions about marriage, family, and parenting that have been answered by Dr. Peterson

"Peterson covers all stages of the family unit from becoming a couple to raising teenagers in order to help parents understand and efficiently negotiate the normal, varied stages of the family life cycle. Of special value is a chapter on troubleshooting tips to help parents anticipate their own predictable stress points on the family life cycle. Making Healthy Families is highly recommended for parents at all stages of parenthood, marriage and family counselors, as well as students of psychology."
_____ - Wisconsin Book Watch, March 2000

What Readers are Saying:
"Your assessment of the situation was right on target. Thank you for the practical and meaningful advice." -Peg

"Your advice column is really terrific. The stepfamily and divorce articles are helping me a lot!" -Ann

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Bibliography and Resources

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