We have covered the topic of friendships and romantic relationships. This week’s blog will be about familial relationships. Familial relationships are not always people that are related by blood. There are families that have adopted children, spouses that marry into a family with children, and people that are raised together as a family without having blood relations.
The Importance of Familial Relationships
Strong and positive familial relationships can create an environment where you can easily resolve conflicts, work as a team, and enjoy each other’s company. Parents can provide for their children and partner while children feel loved and secure. In a positive environment, everyone can spend quality time, communicate with one another freely and appreciate each other without fearing judgement and fearing their belonging.
Familial relationships should also be a place to teach and learn core values such as respect, how to show love and appreciation for others, how to create meaningful relationships with others outside of your family, how to set boundaries, and how to support one another.
Issues That Can Arise in Familial Relationships
That said, no family is perfect. Some of us do not come from families with strongest bonds, open doors, or kind words. We haven’t had the opportunity to experience a positive family environment because of our circumstances. There are many issues that can arise in families and familial relationships. Parents might argue with each other, children with their parents, or children with their siblings over many different things.
Parents might argue over parenting decisions regarding how they want to raise their children, financial issues that might be popping up in their lives, or even about their work-life balance. Children might find that they are struggling to communicate their needs, their sibling is not treating them fairly, they are getting in physical arguments with each other, or their chores are not being divided equally.
The first step is to identify the problem and make sure it is addressed. Throwing something under the rug temporarily does more harm then good. It is understandable that we do not want to face our struggles from time to time, however, letting a problem get worse will really bite us in the future. It is also importance to discuss things openly and calmly rather than discussing matters when one or more person involved is riled up. If that means stepping away for a moment until your head is cleared, then so be it. Other times, it might be helpful to get someone else’s opinion or advice on the matter.
For example, let’s say that your family is struggling with divvying up the chores. Maybe you have another friend that had the same problem but now their family has overcome this issue. It would be wise to seek their advice and see if it can be applied in your life.
When to Leave Your Relationship
But if your issues are bigger than just dividing chores equally? What if you spent much of your life in a familial relationship and felt foreign, isolating, unloving, and cold? It might be time to leave or cut ties.
If they do not respect the boundaries you have set for yourself and are constantly trying to walk past them, if they constantly lie or try to manipulate into doing things that you do not want to, or if they try to abuse you emotionally or physically, it might be best to prepare to cut ties with your family. Family shouldn’t make you feel like less of a person. It is okay to walk away for the sake of our personal well-being.
Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship
Perhaps your familial relationship is not bad at all but rather weak. There are many ways to go about strengthening your relationship. Studies have shown that eating a meal together is a strong method to strengthening your bonds. No matter how busy you are, sitting down at the table together to eat a meal while sharing conversations about your day creates a great opportunity to learn about each other.
It is also important to spend quality time together. Try to play various types of games together, try to have weekly movie nights, go on outings to the park together, or simply grab some ice cream as a treat. During this time, do your best to be in the present and really focus on the moment. You never know what you’ll learn about one another.
Lastly, it is important to have one-on-one conversations. It’s wonderful to be together as a family but having a private conversation with just one person can strengthen your relationship with leaps and bounds. Learning about an individual on a personal level helps you understand what motivates them and how they identify themselves.
They say the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t work towards strong familial bonds.