Family. It’s not just any other word lost in the pages of a vast dictionary. ‘Family’ is an emotion. Just the mere mention of this word can invoke the most innate feelings of love and belong in you. Everyone, even the most solitary soul needs someone they can call a family because family is the one humane aspect that makes a house a home and for that, we must know the true meaning of family.
What is the True Meaning of Family?
A family doesn’t necessarily mean your parents, your siblings or your immediate blood relatives. Family can mean your best friends, your classmates, your teachers, your pet, or even that one person you always wave to at your local coffee shop.
In fact, a family can mean anyone who gives you that comforting feeling of familiarity. Family is the group of people who you know accepts you for you. You feel comfortable, safe, special, that you matter and that your voice matters. Family is that which can make you happy as soon as you see them. They are the ones that stand by you through thick and thin. They are your entire support system. Moreover, keep you going forward in life.
How Does a Family Affect Teenagers?
Most teenagers stop feeling this sense of familiarity with their parents once they start growing up. They lose that confidence and trust that they once had in their parents and begin to search for a family amongst their peers. While this is healthy, “normal”, one might say, it does play a major role in a teenager’s life. Making friends that seem as close as a family is a great thing, but not when you begin to push away people who truly care about you.
All of us experienced that one stage in life, where your own family embarrassed or irritated you. Most of these experiences are direct results of parents attempting to connect with their children. While they mean well, the method they use to make this connection can often result in uncomfortable situations for teenagers.
Parents try to adhere to teenage trends thinking that by doing so, their children will be more receptive to their attention. Parents try to dress, talk and behave in such a way that is better suited only to their children. In an attempt to befriend their children, parents lose out on their primary goal: preparing their children for the tough future they have to face.
However, this usually has negative consequences, wherein children start to think of their parents as a source of embarrassment, rather than someone they look up to.
A strong connection can be maintained among parents and their children if there is an undisputed understanding within them. Parents and children can be the best of friends, but when it is time for lessons to be learned, it should be the parents’ duty to rebuke as well as reform.
How to Build a Strong Relationship Within Your Family
Every relationship blossoms on the basis of trust. If your child begins to trust you fully and completely at an early stage, the odds are, they’ll still be that connected to you in their teenage stage.
Getting someone as pure as a little child to trust you is easy. What makes it hard is to maintain that trust as they grow up. That means their secrets should remain secrets, no matter how silly they may seem. That means you should be able to make time to hear them out, no matter how bad work is. This also means being able to trust your child to tell the truth, no matter how fishy things may seem.
Trust is like a spider’s web. You invest all your time and effort trying to build it up, and one small mistake may ruin it all. Trust is just as fragile and complicated. And when you try to build it up again, it won’t ever be the same. Something as delicate and exquisite as trust has to be protected.
Apart from this, there are certain things you should do as parents in order to create smooth compatibility within your family. All you need to do to set the gears going is to facilitate contact among the different members of your family.
This can be done by making one evening as a “family game night” where you all sit together and play a board game. This will help the family get to know each other better.
You can also have daily talk sessions where you all leave everything aside and just talk to each other about any random thing for at least 15 minutes. This will help you think of the people in your family as individual people and not just members of a family. For example, kids think of their mothers only as mothers and they often fail to recognize that their mother is a separate entity, who has certain likes, dislikes, opinions or problems. It helps family members to disengage from their own personal bubble and step into others’ shoes.
The Importance Of a Family
When we talk about the basic necessities required to sustain life, we focus mainly on food, clothing, and shelter. However, we forget to talk about human interaction. Believe it or not, all human beings require some sort of human association. Without it, we cannot survive. We slip into extreme depression or resort to suicide as a cure to the loneliness we feel due to the lack of this human feeling. Therefore, we require exposure to our own species. Man cannot survive in a solitary unit.
Family is your primary exposure to the same species as you. It is the most basic level of human recognition. A child begins to develop a sense of self-concept by comparing himself to his family. Therefore, a family is essential for the very building of your personality. Family teaches you your first lessons in everything, be it responsibility, forgiveness, letting go of petty fights or caring about others. One cannot stress the importance of having a family anymore. And this is the true meaning of family.
Man is a social animal. Ever since the beginning of time, man has required an association with an emotional make-up designed similar to their own. Basically, we all have an innate need to connect with our own species. Family is one of the major factors that fulfil this necessity.
The need for love and validation is literally a human necessity. Family is that one body that will willingly fulfil those needs.
A family has an unbreakable bond, that can be challenged, but never severed. No matter how bad the times are, your true family will be within a mere arm’s reach. They’ll stand ready to help you fight your battles and guide you on the long path of life. After all, a family is what helps a person make their life worth living and we should value the true meaning of family.