The family is a fundamental block in building the foundation for civilization. Also serving as a personal sanctuary, it is also where an individual experiences their deepest vulnerabilities and biggest triumphs. The family teaches social graces of cooperation, loyalty, and trust — all essentials for building a stronger community.
Families are everywhere. You see them strolling together at the mall, watching movies, or holding family events.
But what is a family?
Defining the Family
The traditional definition of a family includes married parents and their children. Some families have their grandparents with them. Today’s definition of family, however, is open and more inclusive. Families could have two parents of any gender, whether they are married or not. Some families have more than three parents, while other families have adopted children.
The Perks of Having a Healthy Family
As life continues to put pressure on individuals via different channels (e.g., school, work, social relationships, etc.), having a reliable support system in the family is more important than ever. Consider the following benefits:
- Meet basic needs. Members of the family (particularly the parents) meet the basic needs of members who can’t provide for themselves. This includes children, members with disabilities, and elderly members. The list can also include family members who are unable to live by themselves.
- Give a sense of belongingness. According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the need to feel loved and accepted is a crucial human need. Families are essential to meeting that need. They spend time and energy sustaining their bonds — celebrating life’s accomplishments and offering support during times of trial.
- Built-In support system. Many people have great news to share but have no one to tell it to. People in healthy families have easy access to comfort or accountability when they are struggling with problems or reveling in their success.
- Health benefits. Members of the family benefit from healthy meals, exercises, and time outdoors with their families. They also get prompt medical attention when needed.
How the Family Benefits the Community
A healthy family produces positive and healthy individuals who make contributions to the community. Responsible parents tend to get involved with their community and bring their kids with them. Said parents also teach their children how they can help the community — whether it’s donating money or cooking for the local soup kitchen.
Parents also contribute to society by ensuring their kids get the best possible educational opportunities. By investing in their kids’ education, they are investing in responsible individuals who can make a difference in society.
No Family Is Perfect
Even though families have benefits, they also come with challenges. Families are made up of individuals with different opinions. Conflicts in opinions could lead to disagreements, depression, divorce, and more. It is important to be honest and open about your views whenever you have fights with the members of your family. If you plan on marrying someone, have an honest sit-down and discuss your views on the family to ensure you are on the same page when it comes to this aspect of your life.
The family is not the central unit of society for nothing. No matter what the size of a family is, it is essential in developing the foundation of a person who will, hopefully, contribute much to today’s society.