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The health of the nation starts with the success of each family. Each family unit pursues its own goals, which are based on the personality of people, education, culture, and many other factors. Health habits are practices and rituals that are adopted by a family for preventing diseases and saving robust health as long as it is possible. Such factors as communication between the individuals in the family determine the rituals that children might learn from their parents. The younger generations are prone to adopt the lifestyle of their parents; this is the reason why the choices of the adults are crucial and determining the health of all family. The detailed analysis of the health patterns of the family helps to reveal problems that could cause further medical disorders at their early stages.
The Structure of the Interviewed Family
The interviewed family is a middle-class white Catholic family, which consists of four members. The family is originally American, living in the same city for the past fifteen years. Parents have been together for eleven years; the father is thirty-nine years old, and the mother is thirty-six years old. They have two children – a boy who is ten years old, and a girl who is eight years old. The mother works as an assistant at a public school, and the father is an engineer at the construction bureau. Both children, the boy, and the girl attend public school in their neighborhood. The family does not identify itself as religious; they live in a standard middle-class house in a quiet district of the town.
Health Behaviors of the Family and its Members
The assessment of health behaviors of all family members starts with discovering the values that it pursues (Ghesquiere, & Spector, 2015). The adults share a correct understanding of a healthy diet and the importance of sports activities (Sundin, & Östlund, 2016). Even though the members of the family are conscious about their health, they do not invest enough time into applying their knowledge about a healthy lifestyle. Nonetheless, trying to improve their habits, all family started jogging every morning, before school and working hours. At the same time, the father changed his diet by eating only home-cooked food. Both parents have developed a strategy aimed at improving their eating habits and set goals to improve their health within the upcoming year. The family has decided to strengthen their values by taking dynamic activities, showing more respect to each family member, and following everyday rituals.
The History of Medical Conditions
The adults have a history of health complications – the mother’s father had problems with alcohol, and the father’s mother died of a brain tumor. At the same time, the relatives on the father’s side have diabetes. Adults and children think that their habits need improvement. The mother and the father expressed concern that they are far from being exceptional role models, from whom their children can learn. Both parents experience slight health problems and have minor issues linked to obesity. The mother gets extremely tired at work and has severe headaches. The father’s lifestyle lacks enough movement, and he has chronic pain in joints. These issues are not addressed; the family has excellent medical insurance, but its members do not check with their doctor.
Eating Habits of the Family
The adults of the interviewed family prefer cooking at home. The parents involve their children in the process of cooking, which evokes a love for eating healthy products. The members of the family do not smoke or consume alcohol at all. Nonetheless, all of them do not drink enough liquid during the day. Such faults can cause further health-related issues and need to be addressed as soon as possible. Even though the family has no academic knowledge about the healthy nutrition system, they have a balanced diet, choosing vegetables, salads, poultry, and whole-grain bread. Milk products, such as cheese and yogurts, are also regularly consumed.
Even though the house is full of healthy food, due to the lack of time, all members of the family have slight problems with digestion. Children report constipation, which is probably linked with an unfortunate timing of meals. One of the biggest issues of the family is that due to a strict schedule, all four members do not have fixed times reserved for eating (May, T., & Grotevant, 2016). The habit of having food together is absent because all family members have different programs. Also, the children often skip breakfasts, which is thought to result in bad performance at school, which is not linked with cognitive disabilities, and digestion problems.
Positive Habits of the Family
Nonetheless, the family shared some healthy habits. They pay special attention to the high quality of food. The family gets fresh products and cooks dishes, which meet the standards of a healthy diet. Also, several times a year all the family goes hiking, spending plenty of time on fresh air, busy with outdoor activities. In addition, the family has an exceptional sleeping pattern, going to bed as early as nine or ten in the evening. Lately, all family members started exercising early morning, waking up around five o’clock. This habit is reported to be extremely beneficial and does not require changes. The family says that their senses respond to the standards of healthy people. Also, the members of the family have a beautiful relationship and feel good with each other. The mother is in charge of the household issues and reports tiredness. Nonetheless, parents and children claim they are happy together. The adults believe that they need to become positive role models for their children, and it stimulates them to pursue positive changes in their habits. Sexuality is not discussed between the family members at the current stage.
Applying Family Systems Theory
Probably unknowingly, but the interviewed family is already actively using family systems theory for improving the health habits of each member (Grossman-Kahn, & Heisler, 2017). By the method of family systems, each participant of this coalition has an impact on the lives and behavior of other people. This means that parents following the standards of a healthy lifestyle will in some way automatically involve their children in accepting it. The fact that recently the family has started doing regular physical activities together demonstrates that this theory works, giving hope for a long healthy future to parents and children. Also, the members of the family were supporting each other during a stressful moment, which was linked with the death of grandparents. To overcome the tension, the family spent an extended vacation practicing sport activities together. The family needs to fix their schedule of taking meals using the same approach, by encouraging each other. Probably, the rituals of making and having breakfast and dinner together would become factors that can fix their problems of huge gaps between the meals that result in over-eating.
The interviewed family, which consists of two adults and two children, shows quite a low risk of serious concerns related to medical problems. The family has a healthy lifestyle and eating habits. Nonetheless, adults need to focus on developing a better schedule for consuming meals on time. It will decrease further health-related risks and improve children’s performance at school.
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May, T., & Grotevant, H.D. (2016). Does lack of “Genetic-relative family health history” represent a potentially avoidable health disparity for adoptees? The American Journal of Bioethics, 16(12), 33-38.
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