The modern world has a different definition of family than has been the norm for thousands of years. However, the basic principle behind a family hasn’t changed-caring. No matter what the type of family unit - single-parent family, same-sex partners, nuclear family, joint family or stepfamily - care for each other is the foundation of the family.
To keep families strong, the relationships amongst the members of the family have to be strong too. Each member of the family is unique and has his or her personality. The interactions each of them has with other members of the family are unique. Nevertheless, the interactions need to nurture and strengthen the bonds between family members or the family will drift apart.
There are quite a few factors that help strengthen family relationships. Some of the most important ones are:
Love - This is the factor that comes to mind first. Love is what is at the heart of the family. Everyone needs to love and be loved and the family is where they give and receive that love first. The family is where we learn to love. Through love we learn about intimacy, privacy, belonging, caring, and sharing. However, love doesn’t just come by itself; each family member has to work on it and nurture it.
Loyalty - some would say that this a natural offshoot of love. A strong family is devoted to each other. When dark times come, the family stands together to face them. They defend each other when an outsider attacks. They cheer each other on to victories and commiserate with each other in defeats. They believe in each other.
Learning - Since the family is the first social interaction we have, this is where we have our first learning too. Families teach us about behavior, skills, and values. Strong families teach their members how to navigate the outside world but do not allow the outside world to rule them. They become examples to society of how families should be.
For a family to be strong, the bonds amongst them need to be strong. Relationships are the bonds that keep a family together. If the family has a good relationship with its members, they will have a stronger commitment to each other. Family unity will be important.
Strong family relationships also mean better communication. The members of the family take out the time to talk to each other. The conversations could be about small things or big ones - that doesn’t matter. What matters is that the family members are connected. They understand one another and listen to what the other person has to say.
The strength of family relationships gives members the impetus to appreciate each other. After love, this may be the most sought after need in a human being. Everyone feels the need to be appreciated; it helps us feel worthwhile and boosts our self-confidence. Stronger family bonds mean that when a family member appreciates you, it enhances your self-esteem and in turn makes it easier for you to express your appreciation.
In the end, strong relationships amongst family members are estimated to keeping a family together. A family without good relationships falls apart very quickly and in doing so traumatizes the family members on different levels. Too many family units falling apart and the fabric of society start crumbling. In other words, strong family relationships are the basic glue that holds society together.