- Mental health experts have learned a great deal about how to help families operate in healthy, happy ways -
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The dysfunctional family makes great TV sitcom material…probably because we recognize many of the themes from our own childhoods…and probably because these shows leave us thinking, "What a relief. At least our family isn't as big a mess as that one!"
 
Dysfunctional families may be entertaining to watch on TV, but they're horribly sad to belong to. Fortunately, mental health experts have learned a great deal about how to help families operate in healthy, happy ways. One of the most helpful discoveries involves who family members talk to when a problem arises.
 
•    In healthy families, Mom talks to Dad when she is upset with Dad.
•    In unhealthy families, Mom talks to the kids when she is upset with Dad.
In healthy families, Dad talks to Mom when he's upset with Mom.
In unhealthy families, Dad talks to his friends when he is upset with Mom.
In healthy families, Junior talks to Dad when he wants something from Dad.
In unhealthy families, Junior talks to Mom when he wants something from Dad.
In healthy families, Junior talks to his teacher when he doesn't understand an assignment.
In unhealthy families, Mom and Dad talk to Junior's teacher when Junior doesn't understand an assignment.
 
I bet you see the pattern here! In the healthiest families, family members share their concerns directly with the person involved with the concern…rather than dragging a third party into the mix.
 
For more tips on keeping your marriage solid while raising great kids, check out our book, Marriage - Love and Logic.
 

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