Everyone needs support and the best place to find it is in your family. Family refers to a domestic group of people brought together by birth, marriage, or legal relationships such as adoption. Extended family refers to aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.
When a new life is created, family is the most important part of the baby’s life as it is the only thing a child has to depend on. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are children’s role models and first teachers. The child uses them as a foundation to build his life upon. We all need support, and here are eight reasons we need a family.
Throughout history, families have been known to come together in difficult times. The idea of being a part of your family help contribute to your mental and physical health. The feeling of being connected boosts the hormone Dopamine, also known as the “feel-good” hormone associated with memory and pleasurable sensations. Family is not limited to blood ties and can stretch beyond.
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1. Family Makes You Happy
True happiness is one of the most important things in life, but sadly, many people never experience it. Investing in a good quality family bond is essential. Happiness is important to all humans as it releases certain hormones in your body essential to your health.
Hormones are produced by glands across your body and make their way through the bloodstream, sending messages to your brain. During happy moments the body produces happy hormones. These hormones include:
- Dopamine. Also known as the “feel-good” hormone. It promotes memory, motorfunction, skills, learning, and pleasure sensations.
- Oxytocin. Also known as the love hormone. It is essential for birth, breastfeeding, and bonding with your child. Oxytocin levels increase during pleasurable physical contact, such as kissing, hugging, cuddling, and sex. It promotes bonding, trust, empathy, and relationship building.
- Serotonin. This hormone acts as a neurotransmitter. It regulates your overall mood and helps with learning and memorizing ability. It also promotes a healthy sleeping pattern, good digestion, and appetite.
- Endorphins act as the body’s natural pain reliever. It increases during good activities such as working out, jogging, eating, and having sex. Endorphins are a great stress reliever.
2. Family Gives You Financial Support
We all strive for independence and financial freedom, but it starts with dependence. When a child is born, he is completely dependent on his parents for everything. Young children do not have the skills or the means to earn a living and create a life for themselves.
As with children, adults also might need some financial help from time to time. We might need help with medical bills, unpaid school fees, or even living essentials. Family might not always be in a position the be able to help financially but will come together and try to find the best solution for the problem at hand.
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3. Family Gives You Emotional Support
Whenever a loved family member goes through a difficult time, we do whatever we can to support them. Sometimes financial support is not possible and even might not be needed. When faced with a dilemma having emotional support from your family is invaluable.
Suppose a family member goes through a rough time. Having someone to talk to and lean on for emotional support can provide great relief and a sense of calm. Leaning on a family member for emotional support requires trust and love as a problem that requires emotional support is most sensitive, such as abuse or divorce.
4. Family Ensures Your Safety
It is important for a child to feel safe. Creating a safe environment for your children is essential to their learning. Studies have shown that when children feel safe, they explore their environment more and learn more effectively.
Growing up in an insecure environment will lead to extreme difficulties in an average working environment as an adult. It will most likely also create an upset in relationships, especially those of a romantic or sexual nature.
5. Family Encourages One Another
Everyone should have a goal, a target to work toward. Sometimes a person, situation, or life itself keeps on moving the goal post. The feeling of discouragement, lack of motivation, and even hopelessness are among the top reasons for suicide.
When it comes to encouragement and motivation, we should all have that one wise family member to turn to. The person who knows just what to do and what advice to give. Being motivated and encouraged by your family gives a person the strength to take on the future.
6. Family Relationships Is Essential To Mental Health
In the old traditional ways, children had to respect their parents in every way. Although this is true, many physical and verbal abuse has come from this way of thinking. Adults tend to discard the fact that children can suffer from mental health.
Foundations for good mental health start as early as in the womb. Studies have shown that stress, depression, or unrest from a mother can cause the baby to have mental health issues. As with physical health, mental health needs to be consistently and intentionally cared for. Twenty percent of our youth worldwide suffer from mental health problems.
Unlike a broken leg that can physically be seen and treated, a mental health disorder can remain untreated. Nearly two-thirds of children with diagnosable symptoms of mental health conditions get little to no help for their conditions.
According to pediatrics and child psychologists, children who interact healthily with their parents and other family members are less likely to develop a mental disorder or depression. As suggested by family therapists, a healthy way of spending time together is by sitting together at dinner time and engaging in healthy conversation with family members.
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7. The Importance Of Siblings In The Family
Everyone has heard the phrase “sibling rivalry.” When a family is blessed with a new baby, it can be confusing and sometimes frustrating for older siblings. Everything was once yours, and you received all the attention from both parents. You now need to share.
There are natural inequalities between siblings such as age, gender, position in the family, and abilities. Older siblings had a head start in the family and usually had a greater command of things. Parents need to guide older siblings in acceptable behavior toward younger siblings as it might tend to lead down a physical or emotional abusive path if not addressed.
Younger siblings are more fortunate as they are born into a situation where sharing is expected and taught from the start. It is something older siblings need to adapt to. Youngest siblings share more easily, and as study has shown in over 40% of households, these children look up to older siblings for guidance and acceptance.
However, some sibling rivalry is expected and completely normal because you are still dealing with two individual human beings with their feelings, attitudes, perspective, and personalities. Sibling relationships can be considered training for the individual child to live in a world filled with diversity.
Good sibling relationships can develop into truly strong bonds and prove beneficial to emotional and mental health. Having a brother or sister one can depend on is unmeasurable.
8. Family Sets The Ground Work For Relationships
The first real relationship any individual forms is with one’s mother while still in the womb. After being born, deeper relationships are formed with both parents and, in some cases, siblings. Whether good or bad, these relationships mold the child’s understanding of what a relationship should be.
Having relationships with other people is essential in developing socializing skills. People often choose friends, partners, and spouses based on what they experienced from their parents and siblings as a child.
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Although family drama is a real and natural thing, we all rely on family in many ways. Since birth, we have depended on these people for emotional, physical, and mental guidance. Family needs and offers support in so many ways.
In this instance, the saying “blood is thicker than water” is irrelevant. Family can refer to immediate as well as extended family. With a caring and moral family setting the foundation for your existence, you are well taken care of and will always be supported by your family.
After earning his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Stuart gained experience working with families in community mental health settings and in the child protection sector. Since becoming a father himself, Stuart now works in private practice offering psychotherapy services. FatherResource is an opportunity for Stuart to share what he learns on his journey as a father with a larger audience.