The top 5 characteristics of a nurturing family versus the 7 common hindrances
Family systems of interaction have been studied for many years. A dysfunctional family that suffers from abuse or any type of addiction, from alcohol to shopping, even to poor health in overeating, will have certain characteristics in common. Abuses and addictions can’t live in a vacuum, there has to be a system of interaction that allow them to continue. The rules and characteristics below are not absolute but rather what is most commonly observed in broken families and loving families.
This grid is good for understanding the basic differences of shame interaction versus love interactions. However, the picture is bigger than this. No family is entirely in one side or the other. It is more like a continuum. We have some areas where we struggle with shame interactions but others that are love based. As we recognize the characteristics of each we can be intentional of moving into the love based side of things.
1. Security – life is not lived under the microscope of constant judgement. People don’t walk on eggshells, fearing making a mistake at any moment.
2. Love – affection is expressed regularly through words, hugs, smiles, emotional support.
3. Dialogue – because people don’t fear judgement issues are talked about without resorting to attacks.
4. Teachable – because dialogue can exist people are still supported when they make mistakes and learn from them.
5. Growth – because of the first four people grow, they learn core values through their mistakes. This begins to shed light on their destiny and calling in God.
To learn how to move into security and love get our Experiencing the Father’s Love teaching series.
To learn more about dialogue, being teachable, developing core values and moving into destiny get our Shame to Sonship series.
Rules of Shame
1. Control – Undeveloped relationship skills and family members with shame identities, lead to constant judgments to protect the heart. People walk on eggshells. This shuts down all growth and people stay stuck.
2. Perfection – Because of the constant judging it is not okay to make mistakes so there’s always a need to be right. People are competitive and comparative.
3. Blame – Because it’s not okay to make mistakes or have weaknesses, responsibility for actions cannot be taken. So accountability doesn’t occur, nor forgiveness and restitution.
4. Denial – People are not able to be real, it’s not okay to look bad. So issues are denied, minimized, procrastinated.
5. Unreliability – Relationship cutoffs are normative when the security of love is not present nor the relational skills of dialogue through holding the heart open to each other.
6. Incompleteness – People aren’t reliable, don’t keep commitments.
7. Don’t talk – Secrets are big. People survive a dysfunctional hurtful family by naturally gravitating to don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel.