Family Relationships; Why are they so important?

Family relationships give children the support they need to develop into happy healthy individuals. We can improve our relationships by strengthening our family bonds.

Introduction

Our first relationship is the one we have with our family. Family relationships form a social connection that continues for the whole of our lives. For most people, no other relationship will ever have the same importance as the one they have with their family. The lessons we learn from being in a family relationship can influence the relationships we have outside the family later in life.. Maintaining a healthy family relationship is not always easy, but with a little work and by spending time together, you can be sure that you will have a relationship that will bring you happiness throughout your life. 

What is a family relationship in simple words?

It is hard to define family relationships as there are so many different types of families. Just as each family is unique, their relationships will also have their own characteristics. However, there is one characteristic that is a part of all good relationships. A relationship is a feeling of being connected with someone. Families can be related by birth, by marriage, or by a sense of belonging. You may decide that someone is family because of the feeling of closeness that you have, and that makes you family. Nobody else can decide what family means to you.

family relationships
Whatever the family type, it’s important to maintain open, honest communication, trust, love and positive guidance for children, to ensure strong family relationships

What is the importance of family relationships?

Family relationships are important for our mental and social well-being. It is particularly important for children to feel they belong as they are growing up. A strong family relationship gives children a feeling of security which allows them to develop into confident adults. Adults also need the feeling of belonging; that is a part of a good family relationship.

Parents are usually the first role models for children. Without role models children cannot easily learn acceptable behaviour. Ask your children about their role models. You might be surprised at the answers you get. You will certainly learn a lot about the way they think. This article will give you some useful questions that you can ask to find out more. Do Children Need Role Models? How to Choose One?

Of course, all families have their problems, but when children see their parents dealing with problems in a loving and supportive way, it gives them tools for dealing with conflict in their own lives. 

“With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models”

Michelle Obama

How do you build strong family relationships?

Love and trust are key in building good family relationships. Children need to know that they can depend on their parents, no matter what, and it is crucial for parents and children to form strong relationships. There are a number of ways that parents can develop trust and love in relationships.

 Always keep your promises. Sometimes you might not be able to keep your word. Don’t forget to explain to your children why you can’t do what you said. They may not understand when they are young, but a habit of honesty will help to build strong relationships as your children grow. 

family relationships
There are many different types of families and family relationships; nuclear, blended, extended, single parent, co-parent, foster families, same sex parent families, and families we choose!

Teenagers like to feel included in family decisions as they become more independent. They need to know that their family will accept them and love them unconditionally. Families listen to each other. If you haven’t established good communication when your children are young, it is hard to change that as they get older. 

All families have problems and conflict, but a strong family relationship is built by healthy communication, love and acceptance.

What are the different types of family relationships?

When we think of families, some of us may think of a traditional nuclear family with 2 parents and their children. We may even consider the extended family with other relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins all living together under one roof. In fact, families are much more than that. Family is what you decide is family. If you have someone close to you that you depend on for support, then you might think of that person as part of your family. 

In the modern world, there are other types of families as well. As divorce rates continue to increase, it is becoming increasingly common for new relationships to form after another one ends.. When a parent brings children from another relationship into a new one, it’s called a blended family. 

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Quality family time is key to building strong relationships

Blended families involve a number of different relationships which can become complicated. As the parent of a step child, it can be difficult to know how to guide and enforce rules with the child without upsetting the biological parent or causing resentment in the child. Children with different parents may not know how to interact at first without clear guidance from their parents. For more help with improving your blended family relationship, see Blended Family and Step-Parenting Tips – HelpGuide.org.

Of course there are many single parent families, who try to make a co-parenting arrangement work, there are children with same-sex parents, there are adopted families, foster families and grown adult family members (perhaps siblings) with no children. As explained above, family is what you decide is family, so there are numerous different types.

How can family relationships best be improved?

There is no family that couldn’t benefit from working on becoming closer. Here are a few ideas for revitalising your family ties.

Spend time together. Talk about anything and everything. Express interest in what every family member says. Too often these days, we spend our time with one eye on our phone or computer, not really listening to what’s going on around us. Family time is crucial for children to develop a close relationship with their parents, and vice versa.

One of the best ways to build a strong family relationship is to eat meals together, with screens off. Children and parents may feel more comfortable talking about their day or their problems, around a table over a meal. Studies have shown that families that eat together are happier than those that don’t. Children learn important social skills from sitting together at a family meal, such as good table manners, turn-taking and interacting with others. Teenagers may find it easier to open up if they are in the habit of sitting together with family at meal times.

While spending time as a family is important, spending quality time with each family member one on one can also help to improve family bonds. Spending time alone with your child will help them feel special and improve their self-esteem. You don’t have to do anything special with your child. Children want their parents’ attention more than anything else. They just need to feel that their parents are listening. Every child is different and spending time alone with your child allows you to do the things that they like. This website contains a list of activities that your children might love to do with you. How to make each child feel important (even in a large family)

Of course, it’s important for family members to spend time apart as well. We all need our alone time and time spent focusing on ourselves allows us to be more patient and loving with our family. Remember to give yourself some time to do the things you like as well as spending time with your family. Me time is as important as family time although you might feel guilty sometimes. You will find some advice on how to organise some time for yourself here: How To Find Time For Yourself In Your New Life As A Parent.

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“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent”

Barbara Bush

Working on healthy ways to resolve conflict is also really important. Most families have regular conflict of some sort but working out ways to solve problems that doesn’t cause any long term hurt is crucial. For some families this will be a heated discussion, for others this will be time apart to gather your own thoughts and process the conflict as well as potential solutions.

Share family stories! Positive ones. Have family nights and reminisce. This is a great way to recall pleasant memories and bond over shared positive experiences.

What destroys family relationships?

Where a strong family relationship allows the family members to feel accepted, loved and understood, a family relationship can break down when family members don’t feel this. Families can lose their sense of connection in a variety of ways. 

First of all, a lack of communication may weaken the bonds between family members. It is hard to maintain a feeling of closeness if you don’t know what is happening in people’s lives. It is not only a lack of communication that can cause problems, but also the wrong kind of communication.

Criticism and a lack of acceptance of differences also destroys families. These will undermine the self-esteem of your family members. Try to use constructive guidance and help your children to understand that making mistakes is an opportunity to improve, not a problem. Accept that each family member is different and don’t expect perfection. When a family member doesn’t live up to your expectations, try to accept them as they are. Last of all, remember that everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes we hurt our family. Forgiveness is necessary to maintain a good family bond. 

How do family relationships affect mental health?

Where a strong family relationship makes us feel happy and secure, relationship breakdowns can have a negative impact on mental health. Losing the feeling of love and commitment may cause family members to feel anxious or stressed. Prolonged stress can lead to depression and other mental issues which can further impact the family relationship, making it harder to get things back on track. 

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Positive family relationships often mean a decreased risk of poor mental health among family members

If you have problems with your family relationships, don’t leave it too long to get help. There are a range of government services and programs for parents that can help a family in crisis and they can be found on Family Relationships Online.

Conclusion

No matter what type of family you belong to, a close relationship will give you a feeling of security and happiness. There are a number of things that you can do to improve your relationship: spending time with the family together and with each member separately and giving yourself the time you need. Even the best families have problems and it is important to seek help before the problem gets too big to handle. Have a look at your family values together, and assess what is important to all of you to maintain strong connections.

Kenny

G’day! I’m Ken, and this blog documents my journey to becoming an awesome Dad! I would love for you to join along on my journey as I discover and learn how to become the best Dad I can possibly be, and manage this goal with my challenging work commitments!

Kenny has 46 posts and counting. See all posts by Kenny

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