Some families take the love they share for granted. It’s assumed that most of these feelings go without saying.
However, instances of family estrangement are rife as people become more conscious of how others impact their mental well-being. Most families have some type of division or tension somewhere, but it doesn’t always need to be the case. Many of these issues can be resolved amicably, creating a stronger family unit.
Having a robust support system in place can be enough to cool tempers and establish more meaningful ties. How can you implement this for you and your loved ones? What are the types of challenges you can expect to overcome here? Here’s how to build a support system in your family.
Certain parents will have high expectations of their children. While it’s natural to want the best for them, only celebrating big wins can ultimately lead to a life of misery.
Therefore, it’s worth cheering for every victory anyone in your family achieves. Whether it’s doing an excellent job with the chores or scorning a brand-new job, being each other’s biggest fans will add a lot of mileage to your relationships.
Of course, you may accidentally come off as condescending if you’re too enthusiastic about trivial matters. Try to pick your moments well, such as when somebody has achieved something in a hobby or worked hard on something. That way, your praise will be more poignant and meaningful.
Families are multi-generational. Each tier may have different values and traditions to the next.
Moreover, some families can be outspoken with each other. Judgements can fly more freely, and harsh criticisms may be exchanged under the assumption that there’ll be no consequences. You should put a stop to these things immediately.
For example, some people fear being subject to bigotry by older family memberstoday. Therefore, you should try to see if these concerns can be addressed in your family dynamics. Are different ways of life frequently ridiculed? Is little understanding or empathy displayed between certain individuals?
Of course, you can’t change everybody. Family members can be stubborn in their beliefs. Do your best to establish environments of welcoming wherever possible. Even if harsh comments are not directed toward a family member specifically, there should be no place for hateful rhetoric or harmful generalisations amongst your clan.
Help with Life Admin
Close families can help each other with important life admin. It communicates trust and shows that you’re expressing interest in one another’s futures.
It might not seem like the typical bonding activity, but going through admin together can be good. Doing this will illustrate that you care about the family member’s well-being and want to make sure they’re on the right path in life. Trust may also be shown, as details around plans, earnings, and debts may also be shared with one another.
Compare over 1000 UK health insurance policies together with Switch Health, for example. Get free health insurance quotes for you and your family, and secure healthy futures with total peace of mind. No doubt your loved ones will appreciate being recommended these services, too, as the service is recommended highly by past clients. Safeguard each other’s well-being indefinitely.
Other admin areas you can help with include university applications, tax returns, and mortgage applications. Remember, these are crucial junctures in one’s life, so helping in any capacity is an honour and privilege. It might seem tedious at times, but being asked for your input in these situations highlights how much the other person values your opinion.
Have a Digital Presence
Families disperse all over the world often. Staying in touch despite the distance is key and will maintain the support network long-term.
Use social media and group text chats to stay in touch. Ensure that you’re signed in on these services and that the devices you use to access them are always fully charged. That way, you can always be around to reply to a message or answer a call when needed.
You don’t always need to direct message each other and clutter one another’s inboxes, either. Social media updates spied in their respective feeds can be enough to touch base. If the interaction needs to extend further, comment sections and emoji reactions are available.
Ensure that less tech-savvy family members have a presence also. Grandpas and grandmas may need some help setting up their social media accounts or navigating their respective inboxes, so be patient when showing them the ropes.
Families go through a lot together. There will be some life events that can seem difficult to fathom but need to be discussed all the same.
For example, many parents find it difficult to explain divorces to their children, as no words can seem to articulate the situation well. Honesty is the best policy, irrespective of the age of the people you’re dealing with. Being direct during difficult discussions communicates your respect and your eagerness for the listener to understand your point of view.
Word choice matters also. Refrain from creating drama in the family. After all, your support system won’t thrive if resentment is stirring at the heart of it.
Cap things off by asking questions of any listener in the exchange. If you can ask for their opinion, you’re making your family support network a constant back and forth that everybody can contribute to.
Be Comfortable Initiating
If you want to build a better support network, you may need to do most of the legwork. Try to be comfortable with the fact that not everybody will put in the same amount of effort.
Obviously, it would be nice if everybody contributed the same, but people have different personalities. Not everybody is extroverted or brave enough to reach out to others. Still, that doesn’t mean that these family members don’t care about you and others.
Build a better support network in your family because you want to and set reasonable expectations on engagement. Reach out despite other’s perceived shortcomings. Your level of commitment will make a big difference in how successful you are in bringing the family together, so keep initiating and facilitating meaningful interactions.
Remember, asking somebody how they are can give them a big lift. They may not send back a flurry of thankful messages, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate what you’re trying to do. Their attempts to help you may not be as poignant either, but the old adage is true; it’s the effort that counts!
Families are comprised of many flawed human beings. Despite your best efforts, rifts may occasionally form anyway. The best family support systems adapt to their members’ changing moods and needs. Therefore, reconciliation through any conflicts is key, so be prepared to compromise so that you can meet your family’s evolving demands however possible.
Remember that if feuds stretch on for so long, those involved can lose themselves within them. Everybody can forget the original reason for the rift. Be prepared to bury the hatchet at the earliest opportunity, and ensure your family’s support network is unconditional at all times.
Try to remember how far you’ve all come during moments of strain in your family relationships. Is it worth damaging your family support network after all the effort you’ve put into it? In most instances, the answer is likely no, so keep building and repairing bridges wherever you can.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.