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Super Size Me

Tuesday, June 04, 2013
By John Goetz, M.Ed. L.P.C.

This weekend I did something I previously stated I would not do. I watched the documentary "Super Size Me", the story of a guy who eats nothing but what is offered on the menu at McDonalds for 30 days. Now, I have been known to watch my share of documentaries on PBS, earning the title of "history geek" from my teenagers but I generally do not like propaganda. I viewed the movie with a certain amount of skepticism. The movie did make me wonder what a healthy diet is. The Food Pyramid, Dieticians, and Nutritionist all give us excellent guidelines which we sometimes chose to follow. So I am going to stick my neck out on the chopping block and offer an idea on what makes a healthy family.

One of the best predictors of the health of a family is the health of the executive system, the persons or person in charge. Parents, you are in charge. In an ideal world a girl grows up to be an independent, resilient, verbal and capable young woman and a boy grows up to be an independent, resilient, verbal and capable young man. They meet and decide to share the rest of their lives with each other. They become a couple. The couple then decides to raise children and soon are blindsided with reality. The individuals and the couple gives way to being parents and, as parents know, children call upon them 24/7.

So where is the executive system? It is "The Couple," the two individuals who chose to spend the rest of their lives together. The job of parent is to raise children so they will leave home as independent, resilient, verbal and capable young people. The task of the couple is best summed up by their wedding vows. The stronger you are as a couple the more effective you will be as parents. By devoting time and energy to keeping your self healthy as an individual and to your spouse and your relationship, you will find your family benefiting. We all have 30 minutes to spend on our selves and 30 minutes to spend with our spouse. Single parents, the same principles apply to you. If you are not taking care of yourself, then who is? The time you spend in reading, exercise, prayer, etc. will yield increased benefits for you children. You will be a strong, healthy chief executive officer for your family.

There are all shapes and sizes of families and this principle applies equally to all.

All families need an independent, resilient, verbal, and capable adult as the CEO. Our parenting styles may differ, our love for our children is universal, but our need to stay healthy in sprit, mind, and body so that we can be effective individuals and couples is critical to a healthy family.

(John Goetz is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Edmond Family Counseling 341-3554)
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