Getting Your Family “Functional”

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Dr. Kanner | Teens CookingAfter the long summer months, families have a natural tendency to get out of school-time sync and before you know it, school is back in session and there is an absence in needed structure and organization. Pretty soon, things start to unravel, and a problem such as not turning in assignments,  is the dinner table issue. Sound familiar? It should, because, this is normal. Having a “functional family” takes work, time, and a lot of love. But, it works. In fact, parents who practice “functional parenting” produce the most “functional” children. Studies show that the more a teenager is comfortably independent (they don’t act out too much), the more successful they are in College and after-College life. Yep. Making your kids do some simple tasks really make a difference. It also makes them less entitled and nicer people. The funny thing is that “functional parenting” involves only two simple principals: holding kids accountable for their capable attributes, and love. Put these two ingredients together and “Bam!”, you have a functional child and family. Here is how you do it:

  1. Make a list of all the things your child or teen is “self-capable” to do. You may realize right here that you do too much for them already.
  2. Provide constant love, shelter, guidance, and protection to them.
  3. Assign them chores that have to do with caring for the entire family. For example, setting the dinner table or feeding the dogs.
  4. Praise them for their successes in fulfilling their natural potentials including being nice to their sibling more than twice in a day.
  5. Make them volunteer. It is amazing how kids come down to Earth when they see that most of the world is not as lucky as they are.
  6. Have daily schedules which show what everyone in the family is doing at particular times. Studies show that the most “organized and balanced” families are the healthiest.

Following these simple steps , according to research, will not only make your family be more functional, but you will also raise a considerate child too.
______________________________________________________________Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Keith Kanner

Dr. Keith Kanner is a Licensed and Board Certified Clinical Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychologist and Psychoanalyst. In addition to a full-time private practice in Rancho Santa Fe, California, he is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of California San Diego where he teaches both human development and also trains medical students how to better understand and relate to their patients. He also serves as the Director of Clinical Counseling for La Jolla Country Day School in La Jolla, California, and is a Clinical Professor at The San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.  Dr. Kanner also sits on the National Board of Directors for Kids Korps USA, which is the largest organization in the country that teaches children and adolescents the importance of volunteering to help the community at large. As a father of three children, he is also a dedicated baseball, football, and soccer coach.


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