Importance of family
Family probably has the most important influence on a child’s life from the first encounter with the world and first emotions to unconsciously forming one’s own attitude and views. Since birth, our family influences our world view and guides us toward rational decision making, playing a big role in our development well into early adulthood. In an ideal world, a family is supposed to provide a safe, stable, and loving environment which will enable each member, especially children, to develop without limitations and in accordance with their potential.
Why is family so important?
The family unit is recognized as the most important social institution whose primary and crucial role is related to child care and development.
- Love, equally necessary for social and emotional development of a child, is received in the family through positive family interactions.
- Family love and nurture is an important prerequisite for healthier relationships later in life.
- Family provides protection enabling an individual to feel protected and free to fulfil their potential.
- Family offers some of the most valuable notions about life and the first role models, primarily through the role of parents, but also through other family members, such as siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts, etc.
- Although school has an important role in children’s socialization, family is essential to the process. Simply, family provides the first level of education and socialization, as it instills essential and lasting values, which are later transferred to one’s descendants.
The truth is that some of the fundamental family values are actually the bedrock of our society since a family is a small-scale reflection of a society, in its structure, clearly defined roles and duties, rules, and responsibilities.
Although it is not always easy to define authentic family values, as they frequently vary from one epoch to another, or from culture to culture, there is a general value system a family should provide. Being a good person, a productive member of a society, aware of your environment and other beings – these are the values acquired in healthy families. It is important to emphasize that these values are shared through unconditional family love. Simply put, a good family is a stable environment that provides security for an individual, which enables the person to fulfil the highest aspirations.
A good family provides:
- A sense of belonging. In order to do well out there in the world, it is extremely important that an individual feels accepted and integrated. The feeling of belonging should be originally felt within one’s family. In other words, a person should feel loved and accepted, being aware of their place and role within the family structure.
- Family support. Support is vital for success in life. And a family is the place where support can be most sincerely felt. Therefore, a healthy family offers encouragement to each member so they can try to realize their dreams. A family is also a place where a person can rest having experienced a failure or celebrate their successes. Having support enables a person to do things with more self-confidence and achieve better results, which would be much more difficult to get without adequate support.
- Sense of purpose. Having a sense of purpose is vital for a person to be proactive and to accept the diversity of life. A person who has a goal and a mission on a business or a family level, will have more strength and will experience joy while completing various everyday activities. And family is the place where people learn the first and some of the most valuable life lessons, which in turn help a person define their place and role in the world.
Family in society
It seems that in a modern society a lot of values, the family ones included, are being reassessed. Still, what is unquestionable is the importance of family with regard to creating an open, democratic and tolerant society.
Actually, family performs numerous functions crucial for the proper development of a society as a whole:
- socializing children
- providing emotional and practical support to all its members
- regulating sexual activity and reproduction
- provides social identity to its members
Research has also confirmed that:
- Stable and healthy families bring up children who positively contribute to the society they live in.
- Parents take active participation in social activities more often than people who live alone. Thus, parents create a positive role model for their children by demonstrating that active participation in different social activities is the best way to be a member of society.
- Good upbringing and stable family values present an efficient prevention against undesirable forms of behavior, such as criminal activities.
In other words, the benefits that a stable and healthy family has on the whole of society are immense.
10 suggestions how to improve family relations
Marriage and raising children are highly demanding, exciting, and challenging roles in people’s lives. At the same time, they are truly fulfilling. However, it takes a lot of engagement and effort to build a family that provides strength and a stimulating environment for its members.
Love and mutual respect are the key to having a successful family, but there are some activities that can help you become even closer to your family members and understand them better.
- Spend some quality time together. Though each family member has their own life outside the family, it is important to cherish mutual rapport by trying to spend some time in shared activities. You can make popcorn and enjoy a film marathon over a weekend; you can go on a short trip or a one-day excursion, or participate in a quiz. The list of activities is long, and what matters is to select those activities in which all family members can enjoy and participate.
- Enjoy family meals. In today’s hectic world, almost all family members have their own schedule, which makes it difficult for a family to get together for a meal. However, make an effort to have as many family meals as possible. Having a family meal will allow you to sit together, talk about your day, solve problems, and simply relax with your loved ones.
- Talk. Good communication is the key to a successful relationship. Though with time spouses can drift apart, and the same can be said for parents and children, open communication can prevent that from happening. Therefore, talk to each other, try to listen carefully and do not feel embarrassed to share your worries with other family members. If you can have the understanding and support of your family, everything seems better, and to achieve that mutual communication is essential.
- Establish roles. It is important for every family member to feel they have a place and role in the family. Parents should have authority and support each other, while the children should know what they are expected to do. This is the key to a successful family.
- Regardless of the circumstances, make an effort to save your family. Divorces are common nowadays. Still, if they face divorce, the ex-spouses should try to handle their disputes in a calm manner, and continue to provide support for their children.
- Settle conflicts together. Misunderstandings and conflicts are a part of everyday life for most families. It is difficult to avoid them, but it is possible to overcome them with mutual effort. The parents’ role is an important one, as they should enable each side in a conflict to state their point which would eventually lead to a just solution.
- Avoid severe criticism. The way you resolve conflicts is related to the manner in which you formulate your criticism towards your family members. All the things that bother us, even legitimate criticism, should be communicated in a way which will help a particular family member to overcome their negative behavior and state their opinion. Criticism should not make anyone feel attacked or threatened.
- Share housework. Cooking, ironing, and cleaning are just some of the everyday, less attractive chores in a family. It is vital that all family members are included in performing these. Share duties, make a schedule, delegate tasks, so each family member can contribute to task completion in accordance with their abilities.
- Show that you care. Sometimes we take our family members for granted. Thus, we risk turning our relationship into a routine. Therefore, it is good to show, whenever you can, to your spouse, children or parents that you care. These gestures do not need to be grand. Small tokens of attention will remind your family members you think of them and you care.
- Do not compare your family to other families. It is acceptable to have successful people as a role model, but do not go on comparing yourself to others all the time, especially not to an idealized image of a family. Each family is a unit of its own, with its virtues and shortcomings, challenges and joy, and its purpose is to provide happiness for each member without trying to reach unrealistic standards.
A good school and a stable family – two pillars of support for children
What do schools and parents have in common? The future of their children. School has an important role in helping parents ensure a successful future for their children. Thus, the knowledge and values acquired in a family are augmented and systematized through the educational system.
Schools and parents share the mission of raising and educating children, and consequently, have a major role in the efficient functioning of society. Therefore, good schools cherish family values, but also maintain partner relationships with parents, trying to find the best possible approach for their children.
Above all, schools that truly provide high quality education function as a family, ready to accept and love all their members while taking care of the progress and happiness of each member individually.
Family – the people we care about
Supportive families provide a lot of important things essential for the proper development of a child. They present precious support to each member, and offer unconditional love and mutual understanding. Simply, without a good family which supports stable values and warmth, it is not possible to conceive a successful, open and kind society.
Think about this: when you are a husband, a wife, a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a grandma, a grandpa, uncle or aunt, you are a part of something bigger than you; you have your role and your purpose, responsibility and rights. In other words, you become a productive member of a society contributing to its development. Therefore, cherish your families, your role in them, as well as each family member individually. By doing so, you contribute to a better world for all.