“We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together” – Erma Bombeck.

When someone has a place to go, it is called a home and when having someone to love, it is called a family and when someone has both of these, then it is truly considered as a blessing. According to common definition, family means love, trust, communication, sharing, caring, being together, understanding, listening and space. These values become embedded in an individual that produces self-confidence and ability to achieve success in the future.

Family values are the solid cords with which every human being is well knitted through time to develop his character to bond with his core family unit and the world around him. These cords cannot be broken easily throughout a person’s lifetime if he is brought up within a functional family unit till he reaches his adulthood. A well-functioning family is a microcosm of society as it should work. However, the contemporary unbecoming habits of socialization and overwork have certainly misled our attitudes towards living and abiding by a harmonious family relationship.

What is a Family

A family is a very important part of our everyday life as it helps us in improving our personality and shaping our lives. Furthermore, family is a place where you can be yourself and is a place where you are accepted for who and what you are without any prejudice. A place where it’s tension free and everyone is around to help you. A strong functional family motivates and encourages you to face, fight and overcome any problems that you are surrounded by and helps to survive through tough trying times and bring joy, peace and happiness in to your life.

But, a dysfunctional family is a unit with formal family relationships between one another that lacks providing emotional assistance among the family members. Emotional bonding causes one to hinge onto the rest of the family members to receive fruitful and affective nourishment. Unfortunately, the lack of this emotional wanting within the family unit causes the member to gradually move outward in the society to fulfill the craving need to be emotionally bonded by any means that can produce disastrous consequences by making him vulnerable and thus physically broken.

Another reason for a broken family is the greed for money wherein a member leaves behind the rest of the family and the family values in-order to achieve materialistic dreams and goals. Moreover, family members are susceptible to leave the rest and their home when they become financially independent and self-sufficient. Even though disintegration of the family cannot be considered a problem, lack of oneness within the family would surely be a problem for its survival and of the individual concerned.

The famous Archbishop, Desmond Tutu once said that you don’t choose your family; rather they are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. None of us can decide to which family we would want to be born in to and the family members don’t have a choice to reject the new addition into their fold. Every new born is embraced with warmth and unconditional love by the entire family from grandparents to the smallest member. An ideal extended family consists of grandparents, parents, siblings, children, nephews and nieces. However, a family could be as small as two people who are bound by a loving relationship and living together under one roof.

Foundational Nurturing and Grooming

Parents are considered as the primary teachers and trainers of their children before they are sent to school. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their children are educated by them about the good and the bad things their children should be aware of from the moment they enter into this world. For this reason, it is very important that parents have time for their children no matter how busy they may be with their daily chores and other work.

It does not end when the child enters school. Rather, there is no end to having time to listen and spend time with your children. It is said that a family that prays together stays together. No matter what religion you belong to, it is important to train your children from their very small days to pray together with the rest of the family that brings unity and oneness within everyone.

Spending quality time with your children does not mean having to spend hours on a given day with your child. Rather, it is ensuring that you have at least a short time to listen to what your children have to say about their new experiences, answer their probing questions and giving reassurance that they can always approach you anytime if they need to express anything with you regarding their insecurities and other concerns.

Functional and Dysfunctional Family Units

Most present day working moms don’t provide this very important benefit to their children due to working late hours. Instead, they leave their children with servants to attend them and to their needs. Besides, most contemporary dads and moms will buy and give their children whatever they wish, as well as give them any amount of pocket money, just to escape their involvement in doing things together, which is considered a waste of time of their busy daily schedules.

Doing fun things together is so rewarding and fulfilling to the entire family and does not consume a big portion of time if properly planned ahead. However, lack of parental guidance, missing quality time and breakage of constant communication, distances children from their parents thus pushing them towards loneliness and abandonment with a sense of lack of love and care, making them unknowingly go out and look for various self-destructive ways of filling that void within them that leads to developing harmful addictions they may never be able to recover from in their entire life time.

Relationship Building

Therefore, in this modern day and age that highly promotes one’s independence, freedom and doing it yourself type of lifestyle, it is very important in order to bring broken families back together, that the peers commit themselves to living lives by a sense of trust and honor with other family members inculcating those precious values into their lives too. Seeing Eye to eye on common important topics, along with the ability to compromise on areas of disagreement, while making room for open honest communication on mutually important matters such as financial planning, ways of spending free time and deciding on what type of social ties to embrace and emphasize are fundamentally important for its survival.

Moreover, practicing mutual love through enduring deep warmth and affection towards the rest of the family members by being able to demonstrate a love that smiles at each other’s imperfections, without mocking or looking down on them and eager to serve one another, would reinstate a strong family with an unbreakable foundation that would withstand any type of stormy trials. 


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