Although it used to consist of father, mother and two children, the family unit is evolving. Society is moving away from embracing loved ones in favor of texting, video games and television. Since the white picket fence is no longer the norm, our family is what we make it. The family unit is relevant and beneficial today, but we must continue our efforts to nurture it.
The family unit is our support base. It could be our nuclear family, relatives or close friends. They are the people who know us best. Most importantly, they are the people who we consider our core. They are trustworthy, reliable and make us feel better about ourselves.
We must also take into account negative family units. For example, gangs fall into this category. They have all the same traits as a family: with you through thick and thin. But when you chose your support system, it is important that they raise you up to be the best you can be. Your guardians influence you, so they need to be helpful for you long term.
The role of the family unit is to offer guidance and support. They are your base camp. They feed you positive energy, which is necessary to bring any of your personal goals to fruition. You become empowered by them and you offer the same in return.
Although our support system is still valued, it is something we need to return to. It has been contaminated by technology, which creates a division within the family. People are connecting with their gadgets more than their loved ones.
When I was out to dinner recently, I witnessed a married couple come in for a romantic meal. As soon as they were seated, the husband and wife put their heads down and began texting. They had no eye contact throughout dinner. Relationships need to be nurtured, which is impossible without communication.
Obviously, we need to spend time with the people we love but it doesn’t need to be a big event. Setting aside time to be together is enough. If you don’t make time for something, it never gets done. Simple activities like eating dinner together every night or playing a board game can cement your bond as a family unit. Giving your loved ones undivided attention is important, so no electronic devices should be used at these gatherings.
One scenario to think about is if all the power went out when you were with your family unit, what would you do? Would you get bored and fall asleep or would you engage? This could give you a good idea on whether your relationships need work.
Another element in bringing your loved ones together is to focus on your unity instead of your differences. We all have different opinions but fighting is not way to solve matters. There is a reason you made the appointment to see your friends and family. Remember why you love each other.
The family unit also changes as we age. As we grow from the children into people who have families of their own, our priorities change. Our values shift as we grow our own family unit. But we must remember that our parents and friends made us who we are. Because of them, we have a sense of identity and belonging. Our families, whoever they consist of, make our lives worth living. We must cherish these relationships because our family unit is an extension of us.