A family is not necessarily about blood relatives – it is a group of people who function as a unit. Often, but not always, this involves parents and children. There are many different types of families to consider. Whether it includes a brother, sister, cousin, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, in-law, outlaw, or step-sibling, no family is the same.
Family can also be all descendants of a common ancestor. Some people think of their friends as family. However, when we talk about family love, the love you have with your friends may or may not fit, depending on what type of relationship you have.
Love is a word that is used in so many ways that it has almost lost its meaning. We can say we love ice cream or skiing when we mean we enjoy it. Of course, love is commonly used to describe romantic or sexual feelings and behavior in a romantic relationship.
In the context of family love, this term refers to bonds characterized by deep affection, respect, loyalty, and a healthy attachment in your heart. Family relationships are in itself unique then any other form of relationship. Some people get ink tattoos on their hands to show their love for their family, others post on their Instagram page, and some show their love for their children by giving them a safe place to live. Nothing can define how you show love other than yourself and what is authentic to you.
Ways to maintain a healthy relationship with family members
It is up to us to decide whether we will become impatient and intolerant or patient and compassionate, sons or daughters. Likewise, it is up to us, as mothers or fathers of grown children, to decide whether to nurture and fuel the difficult, insensitive, uncommunicative, and inaccessible part of our natural nature that sometimes emerges during challenging times in our families or foster care. This includes love, care, and understanding.
Here are four ways to make sure you and your family get better as you age:
1) Open communication with family members
In almost any situation, being truthful, trustworthy, respectful, caring, empathetic, and proactive (getting and staying ahead of the curves of pain and conflict) successfully opens the lines of communication and love. Direct communication and active listening give family members an opportunity to talk about differences and reaffirm the common ground on which they stand.
2) Ask — Don’t Assume You Know
Since very few of us are mind readers, the best way to ensure that we and our family members get better, smarter, and easier to be around as we age is to ask perceptive, open-ended questions. Listen. And teach. And hence it is required to slow down things and ask ourselves and our family members what we actually want and expect from each other in order to build the kind of safe and loving relationship.
3) Learn to forgive
Because misunderstandings, doubts, differences, betrayals, resentments, and disputes are inevitable in every family, learning how to talk things out and forgive each other is a valuable asset. The power of a simple apology to heal a family, community, nation and the world cannot be underestimated.
4) Make clear agreements
As times change, we are increasingly clear about what works and what doesn’t work in our families. When it comes to the well-being of our loved ones, it is sometimes necessary to deal with family members who misbehave, say or do hurtful things, or cause others to avoid meaningful interaction, rather than avoiding or enabling them. The need for new arrangements and agreements is essential. Sometimes we say something (bring it up and vent) and sometimes we don’t (avoid it and hold it back). Bringing things up calmly, and respectfully, and using non-accusatory language increases the chance that a much-needed conversation will result in some practical new agreements that will benefit all parties.
Effects of positive familial Relationships
Good family relationships hold a very important place in one’s life. Being part of a warm and caring family is a great feeling in itself. The formation of stronger and deeper family ties is necessary for the following reasons:
- It can help children feel loved and safe, which is essential for their healthy emotional and intellectual development.
- It can help solve many behavioral and psychological problems in children related to their learning, eating, and sleeping.
- It can help in overcoming and solving any family problems and conflicts in a cordial way.
- It can teach family members to respect each other’s differing opinions while strengthening individual thinking and personal self-esteem.
- It can promote social skills in children that can help them form healthy self-relationships.
- Parents can become good role models for their children and lay the foundations of a solid value system.
- It can encourage children to develop high moral character by clarifying what is right and what is wrong.
- A caring family structure can strengthen children’s sense of responsibility by teaching them the importance of fulfilling their responsibilities and obligations and keeping commitments.
- Healthy family relationships can help intensify emotional intimacy, which in turn can foster feelings of empathy and compassion in children.
Effects of negative familial relationship
Sometimes it is unfortunate that people have no control over what family they are born into. If you’ve been dealt a bad card, there’s not much you can do to change it. If your family is not very loving or (even worse) has been abusive for many years, you may suffer the consequences. These types of situations can create a lot of psychological problems in an individual which range from trust issues to a decrease in self-esteem, the occurrence of the symptoms of depression, an increase in the prevalence of anxiety, and social exclusion.
Ways to deal with negative familiar relationship
Counseling can help you understand and begin to heal issues you may be dealing with due to family issues or trauma. They can either be from the past or maybe currently going on. One positive thing is that these days it is easier than ever to find counseling services designed to fit your needs. Traditional face-to-face counseling is still an option if you prefer face-to-face contact with a professional. Still, if you’re on a waiting list or looking for an alternative method of counseling, there are some great services out there. One convenient alternative that has been around for several years is online counseling. Online counseling services are the perfect solution if you live in the countryside or don’t have time for regular face-to-face meetings. Services like Regain do offer counselling services to both individual sessions as well as family counseling. Regain and other similar services are affordable and convenient. You can connect with a trained professional from the comfort of your own home and even when you are on the go or traveling.
2. Choose your family
You can also cope with a lack of family love or begin to heal from unhealthy family dynamics by choosing your own family instead. This can be difficult when you are younger and still living with your parents, but as adults, we have the power to choose to end unhealthy family relationships. We can also choose new, honorable family members who will make us feel loved and respected. To bring the type of family love you desire into your life, start by reaching out to people you trust and feel close to for help. These people can be friends, co-workers, or people you meet randomly and have a close connection with. These relationships may begin as friendships, but over time the friends may become closer, like family. For example, an older co-worker can become a bit of a parental figure because they have the qualities you wish your parents had when you were young.
3. Put yourself first
Ideally, one or both of the suggestions above may be helpful if you are struggling with your emotional well-being due to a lack of family love. If counseling or choosing your own family doesn’t seem like a viable option due to a lack of finances or people you consider close as family, don’t give up. Remember that self-love and self-expression are also important factors in your emotional well-being. Sometimes it can be just as empowering to take your emotional well-being into your own hands. Although it may be difficult at times, you must learn to recognize your own worth. If you live in a family that doesn’t treat you with love and respect, you don’t have to take it. You should feel comfortable standing up for yourself and not taking their actions or words to heart.
In conclusion, we can say that proper and healthy family love is very important for all family members of the family and holds a lot of benefits. Having good family relationships with the family members helps in the proper development of an individual and also helps in maintaining the well-being of the individual.