Family Systems

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The relationship between family systems and healthy development are symbiotic: the interdependence between the two helps to define an individual’s self- identity and how one interacts within society. The family system is where all initial development begins in understanding how to maneuver through life. Children take their cues from the parents, who are their first instructors. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9, King James Version). Children are a direct product of their environment; certain conditions must be met to produce a thriving, confident and self-reliant human being.
A healthy family system exists in authoritative surroundings where there are flexible rules. The rules are not created to be broken; rather to instill values such as trust, responsibility, respect and communication. This type of family system requires balance, where each member’s role is defined. If children respond negatively to a decision or question the rules, parents do not act as if it is an inconvenience. Questions are perceived as learning opportunities to discuss decisions; which promote confidence and problem solving skills. According to Vygotsky, children gradually grow intellectually and function independently because of help given to them by adults (Feldman, 2014).With assistance children learn to reproduce expected behavior during their exchanges with others. They are well adapted socially and emotionally sound and not afraid to voice an opinion.
There are three unhealthy systems that negatively impact healthy development because of imposed restrictions, intentional avoidance or rigidi...

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...cause children to react violently or aggressively based on what they have seen or have not learned.
The term development implies growth from less to more (Roehlkepartain, 2006, pg. 10). Healthy development is contingent upon healthy interpersonal relationships which also cultivate and shape spiritual development (Roehlkepartian, 2006). To avoid creating a dysfunctional family system, positive touches are needed that will reduce anxiety and internal conflict while increasing faith in self. Reciprocity becomes a part of a youth’s self-concept when culture, family, peers and spirituality influence emerging minds. This influence encourages a thought process that wants to help others, to empathize with others while practicing self-control; instead of one where individual’s learning is not maximized because of minimal or non-existent social exchanges with others.

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