The Real Glue Of Family Relations

The Western model of family life may be something we’re used to, but does it really offer us the life support we need? From early childhood to our twilight years, family remains the most important element of life, and the one that truly forms our character. In adulthood, we all end up wrestling with problems of emotional wellness and few of us can say they don’t have a root in our family life. What kind of value transformations can we make to escape the limitations of the nuclear family model and give our own children the strongest possible development?

Listening to grandparents – The role of grandparents, so central in the family life of Eastern cultures, is noticeably different from the modern nuclear model. They actually have a crucial role to play in terms of supporting the parental unit as well as educating children from a place of wisdom that only age can bring.

Listening to children – What about the wisdom of youth? Sometimes children speak the most sense of all, coming as they do with a fresh mind to all the things we’ve already grown used to. Not only do our children represent the voice of the future, their emotional wellbeing relies on them having the sense that what they say is valued by others. It is important to engage with children with as much attention as you would with fellow adults.

The sibling relationship – Often downplayed in the annals of psychotherapy in favour of parental relationships, the sibling relationship may be the most important one of your whole life. No other person has been with you from the very beginning, and grown with you step by step. Being raised alongside a sibling makes you literally parts of each other, so separation in later life will always make you weaker. It is important to cultivate your sibling relationship as if they were your very best friend. Ideally, a sibling is a soul mate who will never let you down.

Forgiveness – So many of us get caught up in demanding perfection from our close ones. We can easily take them for granted, even to the point where we become blind to our own flaws. Real family wellness means compassion for the mistakes of others, even when they impact you negatively. Try to cultivate a feeling that you are ‘all in this together’ and will jointly pick up after mistakes and heal each other.

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