Family love & mental health: Know the relationship between them
The initial understanding of love that we receive in our lives is through our parents and other members of the family. This love is not based on some conditions, it is purely based on the affection that our parents have for us. The bond of love, respect, affection, loyalty, and other feelings that we share with our family act as a base for our future relationships. This familial love is a unique bond that we create with other people throughout our lives as we don't choose the family, we choose friends, partners, or company to keep around us but never parents and siblings, we are born into it without any knowledge or awareness. In cases of adoption, the family chooses the child but not the other way around and whatever the case may be (either adoption or genetic) the familial bond can vary in the level of love and affection a child receives but it is a deep bond that plays a great role in our lives. Family love or familial love assists us in building secure future attachments and relationships.
Strength of Familial Love:
There are several characteristics of our lives and ourselves that are impacted by family love, and it can be positive for the development of an individual, such as enhanced confidence, better communication, and social interaction skills, improved conflict resolution strategies, enhanced self-esteem, unconditional love, greater resilience, better mental, emotional and physical well-being, positive outlook of development and growth, and a sense of predictability and stability.
Types of Families:
There are various kinds of families, not all of us have the same circumstances in our homes, and thus our familial bonds are different from each other. Some types of families are as follows:
- Nuclear Family: It is the family that consists of parents, and just their children (one or more).
- Joint or Extended Family: When the family consists of children, parents, and other relatives, like grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, etc.
- Single Parent Family: The family consists of one parent and their children (one or more).
- Blended Family: This kind of family consists of relationships with step family. Basically, a blended family is one where separated, divorced, or widowed parents live together.
- Childless Family: As the name suggests, this family consists of two or more adults without any children.
- Chosen Family: This family consists of members of the family that are chosen to stay together and not based on the blood relations of an individual.
Need for Familial Love:
All of us require some basis to feel and understand or acknowledge the experience of various emotions in our lives when we bond, interact or communicate with other individuals. Here, family love plays a significant role in our mental, emotional and physical well-being according to research evidence. Although it cannot be decided or predicted whether will the family bond be positive or negative, as it is dependent on the behavior of our family members in varying circumstances. There are certain characteristics attached with healthy familial love:
Unconditional Love: Our siblings, parents, and other family members love us without any terms or conditions applied. They are there to love us no matter what happens in our lives, in troubles their love gives the hope to be a better version of ourselves, and in success, their love fills us with a sense of gratitude and humility for how they have contributed in our lives.
Unconditional Support: No matter what our circumstances are, or how many ups or downs we are witnessing in our lives, our family always provides us with the strength to move ahead from those challenges and be stronger than we were before. Our family is a source of support that we get, when in trouble it holds us together to pass through, and when in success it frees us to cheer and celebrate our journey with us.
Go-to-Person(s): Our family bond creates a secure environment for us, which enables us to communicate freely with them about anything that happens in our lives. About the most trivial or serious concerns, they are always there to listen to what we feel like and guide us for our betterment.
There are some families which actually have bad connections or abusive environment that has a negative impact on our lives, and in such circumstances, we have to make deep bonds with others who are around us, with the partner that we choose or the friends that we connect with. They are the ones who provide us with love, respect, loyalty, and other feelings; to have some stability and support in our lives.
Maintaining Familial Love:
To maintain family love, therapy is one that provides prominent assistance. There are some other ways to maintain familial love, which are as follows: spending quality time with family, playing games together (either online or physical) with family members, having good listening skills, connecting with members through electronic mails or letters, improving bonds with family members and friends through socializing, sharing meals together, acknowledging the support of family members, and being sensitive and caring towards the needs of family members.
Family love or familial love is the love that makes the base or a deep bond that we long for and find comfort in, for the things that we experience, and the attachments that we make in our future. Acknowledge the healthy family bonds that you have in your life or take out some time to maintain the new family bonds that you share in your life.