Do you want to be a mediocre parent? Of course not! You want to be the best parent possible. You want to be a champion at parenting. Which means FAMILY is important to you. Understanding the importance of family helps you on your parenting journey. It’s called having a goal. Your goal is to be an amazing parent, which includes having an amazing family.
You have other goals in your life. These may include goals for your financial future, career goals, health goals and exercise goals. When you make these goals you have a sense of the importance of financial security, career success and a healthy body. Because they are important to you, you have set goals to achieve success.
The same is true for parenting. If you understand the importance of family, you are better equipped to meet your goals. Because knowing the importance of family is critical to reach your goal.
Why Is Family Important?
Family is the first social structure we all experience. It is where we learn about relationships and love. Parents are the first and sometimes most influential teachers in their children’s lives. Every new parent wants to provide a loving, nurturing home. They want a healthy family.
A healthy family teaches children about trust, comfort, belonging, love and happiness. This is why family is important. When children understand these human traits, they develop into successful adults. They become confident and self assured. Not all families are successful in teaching all these traits, but of course your goal is to be an amazing parent of a healthy family.
Children learn to trust their parents from the moment they are born. They depend on you for food, comfort, care and security. At that age building a trust relationship seems natural, you are providing for their physical needs. Besides physical needs, your kids need to trust you for their safety and emotional needs.
Build trust with your kids by being true to your word. Follow through when you make a promise and when you give a punishment. Being true to your word makes kids feel safe. You also build trust by listening attentively. Would you place your trust in a boss who seems distracted when you spoke with them? Your children are very aware of your interest in them. Use every opportunity to build trust by being a good listener.
Families also provide comfort. Even as an adult, I feel comfort when I come home after a time away. Just being home, with family, relaxes my body. Kids feel this too. They recognize the comfort and safety that home and family provide.
You show your kids that home is a comforting place by being welcoming when they arrive home from school, or from a friends house. You even create comfort by greeting your kids in the morning and saying good night as they go to bed. These routine interactions are the building blocks of comfort.
Even more importantly, family provides comfort when kids are upset or hurt. Knowing what to say and how to walk alongside your child during difficulty is a major function of comfort in families. You may sometimes say the wrong thing, but don’t let that stop you. Be available to your kids. Sometimes all it takes is being physically present and giving them a hug. Other times the comfort is a long term arrangement. Because families support each other, your kids know you’ll be there.
Humans are social creatures. We have a need to belong together. The very first group we belong to is our family. You can nurture your children’s sense of belonging by making sure they feel valued as a member of the family. The best way to feel valued by a group is to have a sense of purpose. You can give your children a sense of purpose in the family by what you say and what you expect of your kids.
What you say matters. Point out the times your kids are helpful, kind, loving and caring to other family members, pet or even neighbors. Your recognition of their acts lets them know you value them. It builds their self worth. And makes them feel connected with you, like they belong with you.
It is also important to have expectations for your kids. Family life takes a lot of work and kids need to pitch in. Not only is it helpful for the parents, but kids need to help out so that they can feel a sense of belonging and a sense of ownership. It might be easier for you to do all the chores, but you’re missing an opportunity to build a sense of belonging for your kids.
Family is important because this is the first place children experience love. Family love is a unique kind of love. In it’s best form, it lasts a lifetime. Brothers and sisters stay connected into adulthood. Parents enjoy becoming grandparents and are proud of their adult children.
Friends can come and go but parents, children and siblings are always connected. Naturally, these relationships can become strained and even broken. But the reason it hurts when this happens is because of the family bond.
To be an amazing parent, you want to nurture your children’s love. You model this love by loving your spouse, your siblings and your parents. Your kids will know you love them by what you say and do. Tell your kids how important they are to you. Ask them how they can feel your love. Talk with kids about love so that it isn’t just an assumption. Make it a real family bond.
A great resource for building love into your relationships is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. He writes about the best way to show and receive love with kids and with adults.
And finally, happiness! A family is where we first experience happiness. I’ll never forget the first time one of my babies learned to giggle. It made everyone happy. Happiness is feeling joy, satisfaction, contentment, and belonging.
Happiness in families comes from sharing good times together. Parents can plan for quality family time to nurture happiness. Having good conversation around a family meal builds happiness. As with other things, your kids model your behavior. So if you are a happy person, they find it easier to be happy. Happiness is definitely contagious.
If your goal is for your kids to live a happy life, then make it your goal to build trust, comfort, belonging and love into your daily life together. This doesn’t mean your children will never be unhappy, but it does mean they will know where to go and who to ask when they need help. Life is full of ups and downs, but family is important because it’s what gets us through those ups and downs.
Invest in your family! Set goals to build trust, comfort, belonging, love and happiness. You’ll be amazed at how your family bonds.
What’s The Importance Of Family?
By Lisa Reichelt, M.Ed., Parent Coach