Family life includes our ongoing relationships with our family of origin and with our current family (partner, children, and possibly others who live with us in our household). These relationships are precious to us, but often challenging.
A family has an identity, a name, and a life of its own with specific rules, customs, ways of dealing with problems, and roles for family members to play. Many families develop clear values and expectations with one another that work well. When there are disagreements, there are positive ways to be heard and to resolve them most of the time. Sometimes, things may not go as well and feelings are hurt or people pull away from one another. When things are relatively healthy, the breach will be healed with attempts to reach out by one party or another.
Parents are able to model healthy conflict resolution skills with support for one another even in stress and disagreement. Children see loving and respectful exchanges between the adults. They also are treated with fairness, love, and respect. Healthy families are able to play, laugh, entertain, vacation, and relax together as well as help one another appropriately in times of real need.