Life is much easier when you have a supportive family that sticks with you through thick and thin. Family relationship is important for a person at every stage of life. When life gets hard and starts to grip away from your control, the kind words of your mother, spouse, or siblings calm your soul and give you the strength and courage to take on life head-on. This post discusses the importance of family, its characteristics, and ways to build a strong relationship with family members.
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What Constitutes A Family?
Nuclear families comprise a couple and their children
A family constitutes people who are related to each other and share an emotional bond and similar values. Family members can be related by birth, marriage, or adoption.
Your immediate family includes parents, siblings, spouses, and children. And your extended family includes people you are related to, such as grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles, nephews, nieces, etc.
Families are of different sizes — nuclear (a couple and their children), joint (a couple, their children, grandchildren), blended (a couple, their children, and children from their previous marriages), etc.
Related: Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Joint Family
Why Are Family Relationships Important?
In a family, all the members feel safe and connected
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A family is important because our mental growth, well-being, and stability all depend on our family.
A family makes all its members feel safe and connected.
It provides us with the comfort of having people by our side during tough times, helping us to manage our stress.
A family allows us to feel safe, protected, accepted, and loved despite our shortcomings.
Families are the basic units that teach children about relationships. Children brought up in a healthy family can form better bonds outside their home.
Strong relationships teach us to build trust in others as family members share good and bad times together.
Conflicts in the family teach children a respectful way to resolve problems in the future.
A strong family is all a person needs to become confident in life.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Strong Family?
A strong family focuses on the well-being of every member
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Each family is different. But all strong families have some common features. A few of them are listed below:
Have good communication. A healthy family talks and listens to every member. It encourages adults and children to have a say in the decision-making, share their opinions, or talk about their expectations and disappointments.
Share a feeling of togetherness. The family members share common beliefs and, therefore, feel connected. This sense of similarity yields psychological affirmation, and one is satisfied with being together with like-minded people.
Spend time with each other. They make sure to have at least one meal together every day. They enjoy playing, camping, dining out, or simply discussing politics. They actively involve themselves in each other’s lives but know where to draw a line.
Show care and affection to every member. The members have kind words to say to each other. They accept you unconditionally but guide you on the right path if you are deviating. With their care and affection, they make you feel you belong.
Lead by example. The elders follow what they teach the younger members of the family. The value system is set up by example.
Related: 35 Cute Ways To Show Love And Affection In A Relationship
Support its members. The world might be against you, but your family is with you. It supports your fight and lets you know they are with you in your decisions. A well-knit family does not discriminate between family members and responds to everybody’s needs.
See a crisis as an opportunity to grow. They strive to see something positive in all circumstances, helping you to cope with adverse situations without getting overwhelmed.
Focus on every member’s well-being. The family members work as a team to protect and provide for each other. Only the feeling of mutual love can motivate people to compromise on their comforts for the happiness of their family.
Show resilience. Every family goes through ups and downs in their lives and shares a painful experience. But no distressing experience loosens the bond. The virtue of loyalty comes from a family.
Remember that all these virtues of a strong family do not come overnight. It would help if you worked together for years to build a healthy family.
How To Build Strong Family Relationships?
Here are some ways to build strong family connections:
1. Spend quality time
A strong family values spending quality time together
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Set aside some time (maybe meal times) every day as family time, when you can talk about things and laugh together.
Share family stories or ask simple everyday things to encourage conversation, such as “Hey, what did you do today in school?”, “How are you finding your new Math teacher?”
Set aside one-on-one chat time for everyone in the family to foster your bond. It can merely be five minutes before going to bed, but this can bring every member close to one another.
Set some time apart exclusively for your partner.
Establish daily rituals that will bring the family together. It may be sharing a meal, watching television, praying, or playing games with everyone in the family.
Related: 10 Ways To Create Family Bonding And Its Importance
2. Maintain good communication with everyone in the family
When your children or spouse want to talk, respect their needs and listen to them with attention. Give them enough time to express themselves properly.
Be approachable to talk about difficult things. Talking about feelings like anger, frustration, or delicate issues should be welcomed instead of shunning them. Talking about them doesn’t mean you are encouraging them but are helping solve the problem. Also, be welcoming even during uncomfortable conversations. That is how people build trust and can go to a family with any issue.
Be ready for a spontaneous conversation with kids. They often talk about their feelings before bed or in the shower. Listen to them.
Be prepared to talk about matters of concern, especially with teenagers. Families find it difficult to discuss sex, alcohol, drugs, or finances with the younger members. However, it is through a conversation that you can address such matters.
Encourage non-verbal conversation through simple gestures like a warm kiss on the forehead every night before your children go to bed. It can relay your love to them.
3. Appreciate everyone in the family
Appreciate every member for performing their duties well. For example, praising and thanking a teenager for caring for a younger sibling will make them feel important.
4. Acknowledge and celebrate each other’s talents, differences, and strengths
A good family always cherishes the uniqueness of each of its members and acknowledges their abilities and strengths. At the same time, they help each other correct their shortcomings.
5. Stay focused on the current problem
Refrain from bringing up previous issues every time you have to address a problem. In that way, you can avoid the unpleasantness and instead focus on the issue at hand.
6. Work like a team
Encourage children to participate in household chores
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When your family works as a team, every member feels acknowledged for their contribution. Share household chores. Allow little children to participate in chores like picking up their toys or putting their shoes back.
7. Establish clear family rules
Make family rules that mention how every member should behave and treat each other. For example, “We talk respectfully with everyone in our family,” or “In our family, we help each other no matter what.” Such small but clear rules can make the family stronger and more peaceful.
8. Teach children to forgive and make amends
Healthy families teach their members how to apologize and forgive others when someone makes a mistake. It teaches children to take responsibility for their actions. Try to have fun family rituals special to your family to increase the sense of belongingness.
After reviewing Module 4: Lecture Materials & Resources, discuss the following;
What are potential barriers to forming an effective relationship with families? What, if any, might be potential conflicts of interest?
Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources. Your initial post is worth 8 points.
You should respond to at least two of your peers by extending, refuting/correcting, or adding additional nuance to their posts.
All replies must be constructive and use literature where possible.