What is a Healthy Family?

What is a Healthy Family?

well hello and welcome to this week's episode of the Terry Cole show if you happen to be new to this crew my name is Terry Cole and I'm a licensed psychotherapist a relationship expert and the founder of Boundary boot camp and reel of revolution courses why welcome I have this you might be seeing this on YouTube you might be listening to this as a podcast wherever you are and if you're just joining my crew I want to say welcome and thank you for being here and if you have not subscribed to my youtube channel or to my podcast if you do enjoy it please do so I know and hey if you liked it leave a positive review would ya hey it never hurts alright moving into today's episode actually before I do one more thing to say that if you want to hang out in person with me ladies it's only for women but I'm doing a weekend at Kripalu which is actually not that far from my upstate house which is my only house it is in like around Lenox Massachusetts so all the information will be in the show notes if you want to join me it is the weekend of September 13th through the 15th and Wow all the team TC is joining me all the latest so we're super amped and we would love for you to join us it's going to be basically effective communication and boundaries for women how do we do it how does it up level our life it's gonna be great and energy Laur those of you who were familiar with one of my closest friends lara Riggio is her name and she owns the Central Park energy Center in Manhattan she will also be joining us and giving us energy medicine strategies to go along with the things that we're learning so if we got issues and our tissues we'll be handling that too okay those are the PSAs for what I'm doing right now let's move in to this week's episode those of you who have been listening or watching you know the last couple of weeks we've been doing a lot about dysfunctional family systems narcissistic family systems addiction and I had more than a few people write in and say okay we got it and thank you because that was helpful what is a healthy family system so what are the things that you can teach us about what that looks like because a lot of people who were wrote in said I identified with the dysfunctional family system but I'm I get that that's not the way to do it but what is the way that people do it so this week's episode is all about the six traits or strategies or behaviors of healthy family systems like what is it that creates a healthy family system so let's just start from the top because this is where everything comes down from I talked about this briefly and another one of the videos but I'll talk about it a little bit more in depth here which is there is a generational hierarchy meaning the parents are at the top of that hierarchy and then the children are below that so with a lot of dysfunctional families what we find is that the kids were prevent parental ID at a young age meaning you were doing adult things even though you were not an adult and in healthy family systems the adults are grown up so in a healthy family system what does that mean that means parents lead we create a child centered which is different than child obsessed right so we're not talking about helicopter parenting or being super insanely obsessed with your children because that isn't healthy either and it isn't good for the kids this is more about a child centered experience where they the kids needs must come and do come in a healthy family system above the adults needs and or the adults dysfunction makes sense so we see the hierarchy that means always being the adult which can be very difficult especially when kids get into their teenage years and start acting like idiots it's hard not to be like are you kidding like you want to fight with them you wanna but the reality is you see you have to continue to draw those healthy boundaries and if you're getting triggered you're not you should not be having that interaction with the kid because a 15 year old is still a minor there's still a child there in this crazy developmental phase of their own life as kids are in every phase of their development like they don't know what's going on they're just doing right they're just doing and when you look at a nine-year-old and are like I don't no idea why you're being that way you need to look at the parents you need to look at who is setting the tone for the way that kids are behaving and I'm gonna give you a bunch of other ways that we can do that but it's very important to really get kids don't just fall off a tree generally being a particular way so yes there is nature and there is nurture so I'm not saying that there are not examples of kids who have born a particular way you could be in a perfectly healthy family and the kid could end up not being perfectly healthy yes that happens but the truth is most of the time it is the soil that the seed is grown in that dictates how healthy that plant is all right longest weirdest analogy but you get what I'm saying right I think you do right okay so there we go moving on from the generational hierarchy we got it emotional physical well-being of the children are what the parents focus is and that also means that the parent has a clue as to how kids develop learn about parenting learn about phases of development for children because most how would we know it unless we read about it or we're interested get parenting magazines there's tons of support I'm not saying you need to get your PhD in early childhood education or whatever but it is valuable to become learning about these things because there's so much information out there you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own couch just go on Google and go to a reputable site go to Psychology Today and there are many many ways that you can learn especially if you're struggling with something and of course there's going to be different views but no view is gonna say that a healthy family is focused on an addict right that is not a healthy family that is an unhealthy family which we've already covered all right moving into the second thing is about kindness and compassion so within a healthy family system this is basically the the way that you function as much as possible it's not the exception it's the rule that kindness and compassion are really really important for children to be seen to not be judged to not develop shame toxic shame long lasting shame a lot of it has to do with being in systems where there's tons of criticism and tons of a judgement so your job as a parent is to teach kids right whether someone did it for you or not if you want to know cuz a lot of you emailed me this is these are my this is my two cents on kindness even when a kid is being acting out your job is to look at the macro view like oh they're two and a half and they're exhausted so yes no it's not cool that they just punched me in the leg but I'm not punching them back because I'm a grown-up right I'm not but they are going for a nap or they are having timeout or and their sleep schedule is also your deal right that's being a good parent is you know that kids need a lot of sleep and whether they like it or not they need to sleep and you need to set up an organization that allows them to sleep a lot right I had friends who would say well they wouldn't they wouldn't do it I don't know my mother just would be like time for a nap even if you're not sleeping you're gonna be in there for an hour you can read you can rest but this was how she raised four kids basically by herself for you know little kids because we were within like six and a half years of each other it never entered my mind to be like no I'm not she'd be like yeah you are closed the door like there was something about those rules and that structure that actually makes a child feel secure whether my mother felt like she knew what she was doing I thought she did because she was she was telling me what to do and I was doing it rather than her being like why are you acting out and exhausted if she hadn't been focusing on us sleeping enough or whatever it is having very scheduled bedtimes and those types of things is another thing and I'm not saying you have to be super super strict about it especially if the summer comes and you know you could there was always more latitude at least a when I grew up and over this summer because you didn't have school you weren't getting up super early but there was always a schedule because schedules also make kids feel very secure right they make you feel like you understand instead of chaos you go oh I know it's next it's getting to be bedtime what's next is I go upstairs and wash and brush that's what we do then my mother would come up and listen to prayers or talk or whatever it is you could do in your family what what talked about what was one your favorite thing that happened today or whatever if you're not religious or you didn't say prayers but knowing what's coming next makes a kid feel masterful at any age and so that is really important the third thing is clear boundaries although I did veer off with kindness and compassion I veered off into schedules but clear boundaries would also encompass a schedule that a kid can understand so they know what's coming clear boundaries and when you think about this is such an important part of establishing basically the culture of a family like what behaviors are okay and what are not how do we talk to each other what language do we use teaching children to draw boundaries to speak about how they feel this is something that gives them the ability to do it in their life with other people so it's you have to model it because they need to know what it looks like and being clear well Timmy I did not like that choice that you made to eat your sisters ice cream or whatever we're talking about so therefore you know when you do something when you take something from your sister just as if she took it from you this is now what happens now this is your punishment whatever the you know a punishment that makes sense for the crime you don't have ice cream tomorrow night to me that would be like a normal punishment but there's got to be some consequences and that's the same thing with boundaries if you effectively draw boundaries there has to be some consequence at some point if those boundaries are stepped over and it's also very healthy to allow kids to draw boundaries between each other to have that conversation for to teach them to use words to to say no if don't want to do something kids will always probably still continue to sort of fight and bicker because this even in a healthy family system this is part of what kids do but at least understanding is them understanding what boundaries are and that they have a right to have emotional and physical sexual boundaries they're allowed to think differently than other people in this family system and they won't be punished or excommunicated because there's a lot of family systems where that is not allowed and it makes people end up with the disease to please and this becomes a very hard thing to get out of in adult life so another thing with the clear boundaries and having kids know what it is that's coming next so some kind of a schedule is having some kind of family rules right rules and chores what do people do everyone for there to be a cohesive system and for it to be have its own homeostasis that's healthy right to keep it going everyone needs to chip in and feel like they're adding value in some way so even if you can afford to have someone do everything or even if you have a propensity to do everything I promise you doing everything for children is really truly doing them a disservice and I know most of you probably know this but you're doing that for yourself or you're doing that out of insecurity but it's not because it's what's best for them they're even little kids can can empty a wastebasket or set a table and when they learn those types of things it makes them feel good about themselves like I know how to do this that feels good and of course we're only talking about age-appropriate things and I've also heard horror stories about people who at a young age they're them they and their siblings we're cleaning the entire house basically with the toothbrush I'm not talking about extremes I'm talking about how do we teach children that they matter is to allow them to be a part of the solution and this also creates cohesion so family rules curfews chores all of those things and being clear about it you can have a family rules thing hanging up in the kitchen so everyone can see it you know that is an important part of kids feeling like they're in a cohesive unit the fourth thing is effective and safe communication again there has to be boundaries around how do we communicate communicate with words even when you're mad it's really hard to it can be really hard to communicate with words when you're pissed but that's where you have to be the grown-up and you have to always be looking at the macro view of parenting and if you have a whole bunch of unresolved childhood in this area it's very difficult to do because kids when they get to the age that you had these injuries happen to you let's say in life your injuries get reactivated if they have not been deactivated through therapy writing journaling a burning thing whatever there's many many ways that we can deactivate these things but we need to know that's like I'd like to talk about the bag of crap in your basement right so we need that bag of crap is there when you get to those different ages where that those things happened that will get reactivated and it is so painful the second time almost even more painful because you can't believe the things that your parents did that you feel like oh my god I would never do that or whatever I remember raising teenagers and by the time I was a teenager in my own family system I felt like you know my parents were divorced my mother was exhausted she was just like wow I'm so over this and I was a good kid so I didn't have a lot of trouble but I remember when I took on the role of parenting teenagers because I married a widower and I just I literally married three teenage boys that things that were happening I remember being like this is no way you could there were no rules right and I remember thinking these kids are out till all hours on a school night on like a Tuesday night like what the hell is going on like no way and then I had I had to go back to the fact that I was out at all hours being a sophomore in high school hanging out with all seniors drinking until 3:00 in the morning on a Tuesday let the worst things in the world could have happened to me I was lucky right those things didn't necessarily happen and I don't know though my point is I don't know if I would have thought about that again in the same way had I not then been in the role of a parent to teenagers I don't know that I would have but it made it so painful that I couldn't believe that my mother was home sleeping well I was out hanging out with seniors like what the actual F are you doing hello anything could happen to me so be prepared that that happens if you don't resolve the bag of crap in the basement the bag of crap definitely resurfaces at every age that you experienced dramatic or traumatic things that you have not handled so handling your stuff is I should have said all right now there now I'm getting more now I'm getting more than six but it should is that at the top that that's probably the most important thing that you can do all right moving in to be equitable do not have favorite children look at your family system understand what happened in your life if you came from a family where it wasn't there where you had golden golden children and scapegoats and all about do not do that be fair the rules need to apply to all the kids the same and I don't mean the same like if there are different ages I mean the same whenever one is 13 they got to do this let's say at my house you were allowed to get your ears pierced when you were 13 okay well it shouldn't suddenly change even if it's the last kid try to keep it equitable to the best of your ability because kids really feel that and it's painful it's painful to that kids don't that the kids don't feel like they're not the favored one and you will always have kids where you're more identified er you room and you are resonate more with the way that they are but that doesn't mean that you should act that way or change any rules you really have to work to treat them very similarly even the ones that act out you know you have a different punishment in direct relationship to what they've done but besides that you really have to try work to teach them this to treat them the same all right moving on to last one is I called it team spirit which is basically teaching kids that being a family in a family system is it's it's an honor right like treating holding everyone in high esteem but not pitting children against each other in the way they are the way they look what they do my mother used to always say because I had three older sisters to me and to all my sisters like you have three built-in best friends so don't ever tell me that you're bored because your best friends are right here and whether I felt that way at the time or not I don't know but it planted the seed about siblings being friends that it was possible but also that they could be your best friends and to a degree in our lives this has definitely been this has been what's played out it also creates loyalty right there's a certain amount of loyalty that like knowing that if someone is in need within the family system you do your very best and I'm not talking about addictive family systems where one person is the designated patient and as always in need I'm literally talking about real life something happened someone's getting a divorce someone is sick my oldest sister needed a new liver I mean that was the whole thing where we would just step up to go what whatever whatever and she luckily she got it in time and that was five years ago and she is very well thank God oh my god please be an organ donor if you're not please do it because it saves people's lives because she definitely would have died without it that was a little PSA for organ donation but I'm Way moving back into the last thing I want to say about this is that creating the cohesive nature of a family system has so much to do with the parents because you are basically the CEO or the CFO of the family you're creating the culture spending time with kids creating family traditions creating you know family vacations all of those things creating memories it's not just checking a box and or doing your due diligence it's actually enjoying the kids that you've brought into the world and getting to know them and valuing them so that's my two cents I can't wait to hear what you have to say about this I'm also going live the fourth Thursday of July so it's YouTube the Tara Cole show live on YouTube so the information for that is below as well so if you again if you do not are not subscribe to the YouTube channel please do it because then before I go live you'll get a little thing that says hey I'm going up so you don't miss a thing I want to say thank you so much for watching for sharing for caring about being healthy I appreciate it I hope you have an amazing week and as always take care of you you

One comment

  1. I grew up with a very dysfunctional family, a narcissistic mom that refused to validate my feelings even though I was technically the golden child and my sister (now an addict) was the scapegoat. I was 15 when she moved her boyfriend in during the divorce while my dad was still living in the home, and she completely ignored me, this is after years of emotional abuse every night because she was miserable and drank a lot. Everything was about her and my feelings didnt exist. Ive decided its in my best interest to not have kids of my own because I endured so much toxicity in family dynamics growing up that even just emerging into my own power by myself took a lot for me to figure out. I think its important, if you lived through a traumatic family experience growing up, that you really ask yourself if having children at all is right for you. A lot of people jump into that role without realizing how hard it is, or they think it will somehow fix them.

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