Importance of family relationships
"The family should be a closely knit group. The home should be a self-contained shelter of security; a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught; and a kind of church where God is honored; a place where wholesome recreation and simple pleasures are enjoyed." ---Billy Graham
Does family matter?: The importance of family encouragement
Why family is important? Husbands, wives, children, and other extended family members face many changes through time. Life challenges and unexpected events can be draining and discouraging. A strong family unit is able to provide effective support and encouragement. Emphacizing the importance of family, along with actively showing love, provides a shield of protection.
In this environment, the needs are better addressed. There is still turmoil, but individual family members are more likely not to be shaken. Experience and wise direction can be found. Families that are close know and understand individual abilities, tendencies, fears, and aspirations. Words of advice will be given with the kindest of intensions.
The family unit is a harbor for companionship and security. In a world that is filled with self-centered ambition and short term relationships, family can provide acceptance and long term stability. Quality time spent together will build a strong foundation that can be depended upon and trusted. The importance of family bonding in difficult times is of high value.
It is a place to come away from the battles outside. The value of being in this kind environment can be fortifying to everyone. Children receive direction for handling difficult issues at school, work, or in other socially challenging situations becomes more effective. Parents have the opportunity to teach their children to build solid relationships and to be a support for those around them. Kids learn from the real life examples of older family members. On the other hand, grandparents are also enriched and cared for by a loving family.
Importance of family values
It is easy to talk about an ideal family and relationships that hypothetically work together in harmony. We would all like to be in families that experience this unity. But most can still use improvement. And with all the benefits, it is still common for the importance of family life to be overlooked. Individual selfishness, conflict, unforgiving spirit, and stress can crowd out the family strengths that unity provides. Early development of a person takes place at home through a strong family background.
The following table lists hurdles that families encounter:
Importance of family time together
Ineffective family unity is usually not intentional. The down turn is gradual. In the hectic world we live in, there are many things that pull individuals away from giving attention to family. Work, social activities, sports, hobbies, friends, education, and distance all can be contributing factors. Even electronic media is becoming more of an issue. Doing things as a family is often pushed down. It may take sacrifice to put family first.
All of these areas are good and necessary as people progress through time. It is the tendency to overdo that can impact family unity and growth. Sometimes activities seem urgent where as family time is considered optional or just taken for granted.
There are other obstacles as well. Conflict drives a difficult separation between family members. This influences the whole family. Unforgiveness and unresolved issues drive people apart and create bitterness. It is highly unlikely that any progress will be made until this is resolved.
The importance of family values can be seen through the leadership and vision that come from parents that care. If parents show enthusiasm for family matters, it will spread to the children. Low energy, lack of direction, or just having other priorities keep families from coming together.
Making Family time a priority
To break out of this rut, families need to be willing to invest time and enegy spending time together. This will not come with one action, but a set of solid steps covering a cross section of needs. To build a solid family unit, there are a number of things that should be addressed and resolved. The following list outlines the major areas that will help build family unity:
1. Importance of family acceptance: Consider how others in the family are treated. If every step taken is criticized, a child or spouse may feel worthless or unloved. Criticism can be very inappropriate. When the goal is to inflict pain or to get acceptable performance, then motives are wrong. Instead, make it a point to give positive feedback. Show others that they have value. Find areas where compliments and recognition are warranted. Give them responsibilities that can be handled. This will build esteem and trust by showing reliance on their contribution. Show that you care about the family around you.
2. Listening: Is the person speaking to you more important than the newspaper or television or internet or etc…? When a family member is speaking, they want their thoughts heard and understood. If attention is divided, it sends a message that “you are not important”. Respect and significance can be shown by giving undivided attention. Make eye contact. Let the other person finish uninterrupted and then tell them what you heard. Observe behavior for unspoken messages. When others are heard, it draws them to you.
3.Importance of family structure. Planning: Building family unity is not automatic. Parents need to build a vision and then provide leadership in bringing it about. Sharing the vision with the children in the family and getting their input will help make the process a success. Planning activities and sticking to a consistent schedule will demonstrate value and the importance of family relationships. Having periodic family meetings is a key aspect. These may address difficult issues, but the goal will be to get positive resolution and help build stronger bonds. At the other end, there should be some activities that are just for fun and recreation.
4. Importance of family harmony. Not facing conflict: Interpersonal relationships can be difficult and painful. Family members are often hurt and do not think problems will be solved in an effective way. It seems easier to ignore or run away from conflict. This leads to bitterness that will undermine harmony. Since family members are in a continuous relationship with each other, emotions can run high. Blaming others while trying to maintain self-respect and rights is a difficult balancing act. It is important to separate the issue from the person. Show respect for others involved. Speak gently without attacking, condemning, or disengaging completely. Meet regularly so as to keep accounts short.
5. Overcoming favoritism: In relationships between parents and children there are tendencies based on gender, interests, and personality types that can affect how much attention a child gets. This may be entirely unintentional. When parents are interested in the same things as the child, the parent will gravitate in that direction. If the child is demanding, constantly asking for attention, parents may end up giving them more time. The slighted sibling may not say anything, but still be resentful and bitter. A parent may not be aware that this process is taking place. Sit down with your spouse regularly to evaluate how much time and attention is being given to each child. Plan ways adjust routines and patterns so that attention is split more evenly.
6. Respecting personal space - importance of family rules: Every individual needs room to think, experiment independently, and to just be alone. This time is necessary to be rejuvenated and to think through issues. It is natural for parents to want to keep their children on a path to success. Children need space to work through direction on their own. Instead task them with coming up with solutions and direction. Then have them come back with their own thoughts. It is even ok to allow some mistakes. Always exercise good judgement. In addition, it is also important to have private space to keep personal belongings. This will promote individuality and responsibility. The concept of ownership and sharing is difficult for children. It is important for family members to protect ownership, but it is also important to reinforce that sharing is necessary and good.
7. Stress and lack of confidence: Maintaining harmony in the family can be a rocky road. As issues continue to build, facing the hurdles can seem very frightening. The conflict can be with the other parent or with the children. One or both parents may see the problems and make attempts to solve the problems and restore harmony. When failure occurs, the stress level is raised. Issues usually don’t get resolved perfectly. Having husband and wife on the same page is the first step. Spouses need to consciously affirm each other as they work together to resolve family issues.
8. Time management: Taking on projects and assignments can be exciting and profitable. Many of these commitments seem good when they are taken on. Counting the future cost to family members is sometimes not considered. A Parent may have the opportunity to get ahead in their career. This may take significant extra time and effort. By spending more time in this area, the family suffers. When multiple family members are making similar choices, unity and harmony are even less likely. When considering priorities, it is important to what is best for the family. Be ready to make hard choices. Allow for enough time to think through benefits and costs. Get input for your spouse and even from the children.
9. Running from the problems: This pattern can start from childhood and continue throughout life. In the face of conflict, the temptation is to attack and then run. This instantly causes friction and hard feelings. If there is distance between family members, the problem will not get resolved. It will get worse. As baggage builds up, families become more and more dysfunctional. The real leaders within a family will approach problems in humility. They will be willing to take blame where appropriate and to hear negative reports and emotions. Reestablishing relationships by showing the other family member that restoration is a very important first step. Work together on the conflict. Refrain from pushing your own agenda. Listen.
Children can also help with ideas and planning. This can help to be a reminder of the
importance of family.