Life happens. And when our experiences in life get tough, our relationship with family members would tell if we’d have to paddle our boats through the thick and thin all alone. At the mercy of pain, distress, and agony.
In this article, we’ll explore relationships with family members; with specific reference to the following:
- Why do you need to have a Good relationship with family members?
- Guiding principles for a relationship with family members
- How to build a solid relationship with family members
But before we get right away into the outline, let’s quickly look at what family is.
What is a family?
No doubt, the meaning of family may vary from person to person or culture to culture. But in simple terms, a family is a group of people related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
And these individuals that constitute a family are called family members, whether nuclear or extended family.
Why Do You Need To Have a Good relationship with family members?
1. Make you feel loved and secured
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, everyone has emotional and security needs. And belonging to a lovely family helps you fulfill these needs because more than having a sense of belonging, you receive love.
That explains why children that grow up in beautiful families feel more loved and secure.
2. Low rate of conflicts and family issues
When you have a good relationship with your family members, the rate of conflicts will decline. Because understanding will prevail and help slice up many things that will naturally lead to quarrels or other forms of disagreements amongst family members.
3. Enhance social skills, especially in children
Nobody grew up overnight. But growing up in a family where good relationships between family members exist is filled with lots of learning. And the family, being a primary agent of socialization (and social change), helps a growing youngster develop social skills.
4. Enable you to model healthy behaviors you want your kids (and others).
Through family relationships, parents model behaviors to their children and other younger ones in their close circle.
5. Serves as a support system
Remember when you needed someone to talk to, pour out your pains, or help you financially? When nobody was forthcoming, do you recall how your mother, father, sister, brother, aunty, or uncle showed up to strengthen you with graceful words? And perhaps financial assistance.
Guiding principles for a relationship with family members
Like any other relationship, good relationships with family members strive on the principle of communication. Both parents, children, and siblings need quality interaction. In doing that, the importance of nonverbal communication should be neglected.
2. Unity and cooperation
Division kills the good unity has to offer. But in the quest to establish a formidable relationship with family members, unity and cooperation is a principle both parents and children, coupled with extended members, must observe.
3. Expression of love
This principle is simple and explicit. And as someone who wants to have a good relationship with family members, you should engage this principle in words and actions.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Says Maya Angelou.
You’ll agree that the amount on your plate to attend to, at times, scares you. From stress at work to settling bills upon bills at home. But then, there is no magic way to blossom the relationship with family members if you choose not to commit your time and energy to it.
This guiding principle for the relationship with family members demands you first acknowledge that your family members are not the same. Thus, as a parent, for example, you accept your children are different and should be attended to uniquely.
Oh no! What’s to be kept private in a family? You’d ask.
You’re aware that your family includes extended family members such as uncles, aunties, etc. As much as you’d love to establish genuine connections with family members, you should be able to set boundaries.
Giving a helping hand is the principle every person who wants to polish his relationship with family members upholds. Arguably, it should be ideal for every family.
8. Don’t give what you can’t take
If you don’t want others to talk you down, don’t do the same to others. As the saying goes, “respect is reciprocal.” In other words, do unto others as you’d have them do to you.
How to build a solid relationship with family members
1. Spend quality time
As an adult, spending quality time with your spouse, children, and other family members cannot be downplayed if you want to build a solid relationship with them.
Thus, as a father or mother, you can create time to have talks with your partner and your children. Individually or in a group, as the situation demands. These interactions don’t always have to be highly serious and tense; humor can get introduced to conversations to keep everyone open and light-hearted.
2. Respect the individuality of people
Having no practical grasp of this is why many relationships with family members go sour. That’s because everybody in a family is unique, even though the same blood may be flowing through their veins.
And for this reason, you should relate with your children (if you have), siblings, and other family members differently.
3. Establish and maintain good rapport with all
Developing a good rapport with anyone has to be intentional. It requires commitment. And you want to do this to every member of your family.
Say, for instance, you’re a parent blessed with three beautiful children. The first is 7 years old, the second 5 years old, and the last is three years old.
Aside from having strong and positive communication with your spouse, you also should distribute your time with your three kids. You may engage the three of them in a group conversation, but being able to connect with them individually is paramount to building a great relationship with each of them.
4. Don’t dig up issues from the past
Many of us are guilty of this. We’re often swift to relive a mistake a family member made years back, two or three months (or even a couple of days ago), trying to connect it with a current situation.
While that may be logically right, it’s not the best thing to do if it doesn’t help resolve the issue on the table. Instead, it only heightens the tension and feeling of guilt in a person’s heart.
5. Foster team spirit
Team spirit is one of the core messages that your employer will never get tired of preaching. Neither should you be tired of that too in your family. Remember, charity begins at home.
You should, therefore, try to initiate the fun and purposeful activities into your daily or weekly routine, which can help stimulate and maintain togetherness between family members.
6. Imbibe the culture and practice of forgiveness.
While letting go may be somewhat hard, it’s a deep life lesson many have learned. Practice forgiveness doesn’t only bring peace within you; it helps build a solid relationship with family members. Especially with those who wronged you and are genuinely sorry about the pain they caused you.
7. Learn how to manage stress
The inability of many to manage stress at work without adversely affecting their relationships with family members has caused more damage than good.
But to build and maintain solid interpersonal relationships with family members, one needs a good level of emotional intelligence. To be able to control and be in charge of their emotions.
8. Lead by example
You’ll agree that the best way to teach someone something or a habit is to be able to model it first. Simply put, to be able to lead by example.
If you want to teach your children, spouse, or siblings how to show love, you should dish out love to them. And according to Gary Chapman in his book, “The Five Love Languages,” you can express love through these languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Giving/receiving gifts
- Quality time, and
- Physical touch
Bonus tips for maintaining strong relationships with family members
- Practice empathy
- Learn and apply conflict resolution skills
- Accommodate people through the practice of forbearance
- Don’t expect too much from others
- Be self-aware and willing to own your mistakes. Apologize if the situation demands it.
- Know when to quit an argument
- Don’t be careless with jokes
Remember the saying, “home sweet home.” Your home will always be your home until you find a substitute, which rarely will happen. So choose to build solid ties with your family that last forever by applying the helpful tips in this post.
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