Parents work as a co-parenting team

A functional family is one where the adults are at the center of the family, in charge and pulling together in the same direction. In a functional family parents, divorced or married, take responsibility. Kids need the assurance that a firm hand (not too tight and not too loose) is at the tiller, even if they may not thank you for it.

Encourages siblings to work together

Brothers and sisters have a unique relationship and it’s a dead shame when it is not nourished. Functional parents encourage siblings to play, work and problem solve together, enhancing inter-sib communication, instead of interfering with their arguments. That way siblings feel empowered and their bond is closer when they find a solution by themselves.

Provides clear boundaries

We aren’t each other’s friends. A parent is a parent no matter how friendly they may be. Our children are not extensions of ourselves, they are individuals. Do not ‘friend’ them on Facebook unless you talk about it first and they say it’s OK and they mean it.

Get each other’s sense of humor

Functional families laugh a lot. They have ‘inside’ jokes and favorite stories, anecdotes of memories shared that delight and re-enforces a healthy bond.

Eat meals together

So hard to do in today’s society but research does show that communication within a family is enhanced if we take more meals together, even if it’s in front of the TV.

Follow the golden rule

 “Treat each other as we wish to be treated in turn.”Is your family functional or dysfunctiona?

This question could be answered by a tool in family medicine call Smikstein APGAR scoring

 This is a useful tool in assessing the presence and severity of family dysfunction.

It is a Questionnaire based tool that is scored 0, 1 and 2 respectively for “hardly ever”, “some of the time” and “ almost always” to determine the individual’s perception to the respective issues represented by the acronym.

A – Adaptability ,  P – Partnership,  G – Growth ,  A – Affection ,  R – Resolve


I can turn to my family for help when something is troubling me.

That derives from the confidence that family members are prepared to accommodate the necessary adaptation to accommodate the support the affected family member needs. 


I am satisfied with the way my family talks things over with me and shares problems with me. 

The readiness of family members to identify with and participate in finding a solution to the need of each other.


I am satisfied that my family accepts and support my wishes to take on new activities or directions.

That means the individual can count on the support of his family as he undertakes plans and efforts to grow and develop in any aspect of his life/career.


I am satisfied with the way my family expresses affection and responds to my emotions, such as anger, sorrow and love.

That means the individual is assured of the love, affection and understanding of his/her family members.


I am satisfied with the way my family and I share time together. Time together by the family is helpful in offering opportunity for family members to reflect and resolve issues facing them. Scores 0 to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 10 indicate Dysfunctional, Poorly functional and Functional families respectively.

Is your family functional like the Holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph or dysfunctional?




Get a good night’s sleep: Tips for you and your family

PEOPLE DON’T respect their sleep enough.They tend to think of it as a nuisance and don’t look forward to it as something that is really restorative and will help them the next day and the day after that.

So start by making sleep a priority in your life. Then, follow these simple tips to help you get better sleeps and wake up feeling refreshed every morning.

Give your bedroom a makeover.

Make your sleeping area conducive to rest by keeping it dark and quiet. Keep in mind that your body temperature drops at night, so you want to keep your room environment at a cool, comfortable level.

Get enough sleep.

Most people need seven or eight hours to optimally function. You don’t want to be tired or sleepy during the day. If you need an alarm clock to wake up, find yourself chugging caffeine to stay awake, or you nod off during meetings, you may not be getting enough shut-eye.

Establish a regular routine.

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. People who frequently switch their sleep times experience something akin to jet lag.  “Sunday night insomnia,” is a situation  where weekend warriors stay up late on Friday and Saturday and then have trouble falling asleep on Sunday. Just that 24-48 hours can shift your circadian rhythm and cause poor sleep.

Put away your gadgets.

It’s tempting to watch TV or surf the web from bed, but those activities usually make it harder to wind down. The latest research suggests that artificial light coming from laptop screens, TVs, etc. suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. So  turn off those screens at least an hour before bedtime.

Get up instead of tossing and turning.

If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night, don’t lie in bed just staring into space. Get out of bed, do something that is relaxing, and come back to bed when you feel drowsy. Keep the bedroom associated with sleeping rather than being awake. If you’re a worrying type, try to make a list of things you need to do the next day an hour before bed. That way you can get your worrying done before you get into bed.

Avoid alcohol before bed.

Contrary to popular opinion, drinking alcohol before bedtime is not a good idea since it disrupts sleep and causes nighttime awakenings. Chronic use of alcohol also takes away slow-wave sleep. It wears off quickly, and then you’re left with nightmares and sleep fragmentation. Caffeine before bedtime is also bad.

Know how much sleep your kids need.

According to a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) survey, only 20% of adolescents get the recommended nine hours of sleep per night on school nights. The NSF recommends that children ages 3 to 5 need 11 to 13 hours; ages 5 to 10 need 10 to 11 hours; ages 10 to 17 need 8.5. to 9.5 hours; ages 18 and above need 7 to 9 hours.

Make bedtime a priority for the whole family.

School-age kids benefit from a regular bedtime routine. Use rituals that help children wind down like a bath, brushing teeth, and story time. Be aware that your kids may try to push the bedtime limits. Kids are pretty savvy, they’ll try to manipulate parents if they can to keep coming back in the room and parents need to try to avoid giving into  that.

Get help for daytime sleepiness.

Daytime drowsiness can be dangerous, because you may be at risk for falling asleep while driving. Unexplained sleepiness is a surefire signal that you should talk to your doctor. There are treatments available for cases of sleep apnea or narcolepsy. Insomnia is a common complaint, but if it persists for more than a few weeks, you should see your doctor to get to the root of the problem.

Our Social Media