Our families are one of the most important social institutions in our lives. Researchers have observed that in all the societies they have studied, family plays a crucial role in the success of individuals. A family’s influence on young children can last a lifetime in many ways. Healthy families are building blocks of a healthy society. The family offers some of the most valuable notions about life and the first role models, primarily through the roles of parents, but also through other family members, such as siblings, grandparents, friends, uncles, and aunts.
Family can enhance brain development
A child’s brain develops until age 25. A child’s early experiences establish either a sturdy or fragile foundation for behavior, learning, and health. For younger children, family life makes up a large portion of their early childhood experiences and parents or caretakers are their first teachers and role models. Stable, nurturing, and responsive parents, as well as positive family experiences, contribute to the healthy development of children’s brain architecture. A family made of nurturing caretakers is associated with better emotional regulations, obedience, academic performance, social competence, and resilience.
A nurturing family provides a sense of belonging
A sense of belonging can help provide confidence and courage to go out in the world to work and be successful. It is important that an individual feels accepted, loved, and integrated. The feeling of belonging provides a safe place for individuals to feel supported and unconditionally loved when life can be challenging. Support can be vital for success in life. The family can offer encouragement to each member so they can realize their gifts and reach for their dreams.
Family can strengthen mental health and wellbeing
Family can provide a safe place where members can freely talk about triumphs and worries without judgment. Families can look out for each member and seek professional help when any member is not thriving. When family members understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, you can live harmoniously together.
Family can provide a sense of purpose
When we have a sense of purpose, we feel valued. Family chores can make each individual feel important because they are contributing to the team with a common goal in mind. Some families pick a charity that all contribute to. Charity develops empathy. When family members come together for something bigger than themselves, it can be very rewarding. Family members can encourage each other to use their gifts and talents for others in the community.
Family can provide stability and safety
Spending some quality time together can bring members closer together. Having a family meal allows you time to talk about your day, solve problems, or simply relax with your loved ones. When children have a consistent schedule, they feel safe. Families can provide a schedule that works for them, and this allows a sense of comfort when they know what is going to happen next.
Every family is unique. Raising a family isn’t an easy job! Unconditional love, respect and acceptance of each family member can be the building blocks of how individuals see their world. Families can provide safe surroundings for children so that they can thrive. Psychological well-being and life satisfaction is closely related to our relationships. Investing in your family relationships by spending time together can be one the most important things that you can do for its members. There is no perfect family but every family matters!
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Julie Morvant, LPC
Julie uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems, and Solution-focused therapy in her sessions. She enjoys working with individuals, teenagers, couples and families. Christian counseling using scripture is available upon request.
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