What is it?
Families can be a life-giving force when they are healthy and relatively stress-free. When healthy, they can be one constant that you can count on—so much so that a healthy family relationship can have a positive impact on your health and well-being.
Strong family relationships also are a source of comfort, guidance, and strength that you can draw on in times of stress. Likewise, they provide a sense of belonging and unconditional love you are not likely to find anywhere else.
But when these relationships are unhealthy or stress-filled, they can feel exhausting and emotionally draining. In fact, a highly-conflicted or family relationship can cause a lot of damage.
Not only do these unhealthy relationships deprive you of support, but they also can create additional stress, conflict, and even health issues. For instance, research indicates that 10% to 30% of children grow up in families where their health and well-being are endangered or weakened by unhealthy family relationships.
How does your family influence you and your behavior?
Your family influences your behavior in a tremendous way. We learn so much about how we interact with the world and ourselves. Family relationships cast long shadows, especially when we are young, and it goes very deep into our psyche. Young children are like sponges; they learn so much from their parents and/or caregivers and there are many ways it can affect them as they grow up:
What is a healthy family relationship?
A healthy family is one where all members feel loved, safe, and supported by each other; where all members of a family are able to feel comfortable with each other and your individual identity encourages you to grow and develop.
Every family functions differently, but parents and caregivers can help to foster this in their children by showing and teaching them love, care, positivity and respectful interaction.
How you maintain a good relationship with your family
A healthy family dynamic can be achieved by spending quality time together as a family, solving problems together and effectively communicating verbally and through actions how much you love one another.
It is important to remember that relationships are always in a constant state of change. In order for parents to maintain a healthy relationship with their children, it is very important that they give them enough space to develop independently. Often parents make the mistake of treating their children younger than they actually are.
Individual space for children and especially teenagers is very important as it gives them time to do inner work, discover themselves and become more independent. It is a valuable growing space where they learn to discover what they want from life.
Unfortunately, some parents push their children to live out the dreams they once had for themselves; in other words, they live their lives through their child. Signs that you are doing this are that you are obsessing over your child's activities and/or forcing them to do things that don't seem to interest them. This can be very damaging to your child's self-identification.