Ask Susan – Is there Such Thing As A Functional Family?


Susan – Is there such thing as a ‘functional family’? 

Answer:  I am not sure how many functional families there are as I do not know if research has been done into the subject.  My suspicion is that ‘yes’ there are and that the functionality is passed down through the generations in those families.  Since functional families do not cause trouble within society there probably has not been a need to focus on a functional family.

I also think that there are probably degrees of functionality.  There has been work done on types of dysfunctional families: for example descriptions of centripetal dysfunction.  You might find doing a genogram a useful tool to look at your own family.  There are several  books on the subject so do take a look for yourself.

Alcoholics,  gamblers, workaholics, shopaholics all create dysfunctional families in addition to people who use drugs and undertake crimes.  There is a wide range of inappropriate behaviors.

My family of origin was dysfunctional for a variety of reasons including rigid roles for the adults and for functional familyme as a child.  I did not know this until I was doing my master’s degree in Community Psychology.  There I came across a lot of information about what makes families dysfunctional.  It made me wonder what a functional family would look like!  Thus see my Kindle eBook How a Functional Family Might Look.

What I learned was that functional parents have sorted themselves out prior to having children so that they have solid, positive self-esteem BEFORE the children come along.

Functional parents do not use physical force to enforce their point of view.  They do not use manipulative behavior nor gifts and bribes to get what they want.

Functional families build trusting, open, honest relationships with no secrets between its family members.  Was that your family?

If you think that some of your family’s behavior was inappropriate after you have read How a Functional Family Might Look I suggest you read my eBook Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth  and especially the chapter entitled “Quality of Life:  A Blueprint for Change”.


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