Wealth & Lifestyle

The Most Important Habits of a Healthy Family Culture

he Most Important Habits of a Healthy Family Culture

The Reasons Why Family is So Much Important in Our Life

Reading Time – 12 minutes.

Summary

  • Getting married and having kids are some of the most crucial events in our lives;
  • A healthy lifestyle is typically associated with a rich family life which involves connection, sharing, and love;
  • Family support is vital to each of us because it provides benefits which we can find nowhere else: healthy eating and hygiene habits, emotional, physical and mental support to name just a few;
  • Family improves overall economic security and well-being for each individual; family provides a sense of belonging which is especially crucial in troubling times; family meals and culture of sharing food contribute to well-balanced diets; family bonds help regulate emotions, and close family ties help people live longer;
  • Since we are not born knowing how to live in a society, for most of us, learning starts at home. This is where we learn our values and get a sense of security and belonging.

Takeaways

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Introduction to the Family Matters

A family is essential in life as it determines a person’s mental status, professional life, and behavior in society as a whole. A family is not limited to getting married but maintaining a cluster of things associated with it. The definition of the family  seems to change with the times, but it usually includes a group of people related to each other and living together. Like many social relationships, strong bonds with family members can have great benefits for society and individuals.

What is the Role of Family in Life?

Family support is important to individuals for various reasons, most of which are related to your well-being. Family is important to individuals because it provides benefits to your physical, emotional, and mental health that can’t be found anywhere else.

Over many years, researches consistently prove that kids who grow up with their biological, married parents are happier than kids who are living in non-traditional family settings. In nuclear families, kids and parents spend plenty of time together, and there is often more economic security and less emotional distress.

  • Families Provide Personal Stress Relief

Family ties provide stress relief by boosting self-esteem and lessening anxiety. This strong bond can act as a sort of protective shield and offers a sense of belonging in troubling times, especially for young people who have been exposed to violence.

  • Family Meals Contribute to Healthy Diets

Across all ages, families who eat meals together have healthier diets that include ample fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed foods. Healthy food choices create a foundation that lasts up to five years later for teens. Grandparents who eat alone are more likely to skip meals and eat foods with decreased nutritional values, so family meal-time is important for each generation.

  • Early Family Bonds Help Regulate Personal Emotions

Children who experience healthy family relationships at a young age show more control and regulation of their emotions when they’re older, reports Sage Journals. People who are emotionally stable are self-aware and able to deal with feelings of any kind of inappropriate and rational ways.

  • Family Closeness Helps People Live Longer

In a recent long-term study, researchers found that adults with no close relationships to family members other than a spouse were about twice as likely to die as adults with close family relationships. Results from the study also demonstrated that strong family ties lengthened life more than friendship bonds. It seems there’s something special about family members that makes people feel supported and happy in a way no other person can do.

Functions of the Family as Primary Group in Society

Family is the most important primary group in society. It is an outstanding group because the child develops its basic attitudes in the family. Family as a social institution performs several functions. Maclver classifies its functions into two types: (1) Essential or primary, and (2) non-essential or secondary.

Essential / Primary Functions

The essential functions of the family are:

  • Stable Satisfaction of Sex need

This is the primary and essential function of the family. The sex instinct is the natural urge of the human being. The satisfaction of this need requires that both male and female live together as life partners. It is the family where the husband and wife can satisfy their sex instincts easily and comfortably.

Without family, the satisfaction of sex needs is almost socially quite impossible. A family not only satisfies but also provides the appropriate mechanism through marriage to regulate the sexual behavior of husband and wife.

  • Reproduction or procreation

Reproduction or procreation is another essential function of the family. The family, along with regulating the sexual behavior in relation to the satisfaction of sexual needs, secures a legitimate basis for procreation. Since the inception of family, this fundamental function was at its core, and ultimately it perpetuates the human race as a whole.

  • Protection and care of the young

The protection and care of children is another essential function of the family. It is regarded as an institution par excellence for the production and rearing of children. It is true that no other institution can take the required care of the child than the family. The child at birth is completely helpless and cannot survive without the help of the family. It is the family that provides care, protection, security (both physical and mental), and fulfills all other needs to make him fit in the society.

  • Socializing Functions

Family is one of the primary agents of socialization. Family members teach the child the norms, value morals, beliefs, and ideals of society. In the family, the children first learn what is good and bad, what is right and wrong. They develop specific habits, traits of character, attitudes, and values.

The senior members of the family pass the family culture to the new generation thought the socialization process. Thus, the family acts as an instrument of culture transmission.

  • Provision of a home

Family makes a provision of a home or a common habitation for its members. Here both husband and wife live together for procreation, protection, and care of the children. It is a place of diverse activities. All the members of the family depend on home for comfort, protection, and peace. It is that institution that provides mental or emotional satisfaction. Members of the family exchange their love, sympathy, and affection with each other.

Non-essential / Secondary Functions

The non-essential functions of the family are:

  • Economic function

The family fulfills the economic needs of its members which have been the traditional function of the family. Family fulfills all the economic needs of its members such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. The goods required by its members are nourished at home.

  • Educational function

Mazzin says, “The first lesson of a child is learned between mother’s kiss and father’s care”. Family is regarded as the first school of children. The family provides the basis for the child’s formal learning and gives the child his basic training in social attitudes and habits.

  • Religious function

The family is a center for the religious training of the children. The family used to teach the children the religious values, moral precepts, etc. It is through the family that the religious inheritance is passed on to the next generation.

  • Recreational functions

Family is the center of recreational activities like singing, dancing, playing indoor games etc. The small children are the source of recreation for the elders.

  • Protective function

Family always looks after the health of its members, both young and old. It takes up the responsibility of its members and maintains sound health.

What Roles Does Family Play in the Society?

Does Family Shape our Identity?

There are two ways that families influence the values and expectations of their children: directly and indirectly. Parents teach their children values directly, such as teaching right and wrong, religious education, teaching about interacting with other people, and rules and expectations. Indirectly, parents teach and socialize their children leading by example. Children watch their parents interact with others, make choices, and determine right and wrong for themselves, which impacts how they develop their moral selves.

Family interactions can build up or break down an individual’s self-confidence. A united, communicative family, for example, can help children gain self-confidence. Children who are allowed and encouraged to pursue their own choices typically gain a greater sense of confidence and individuality. Family activities, such as camping or community service, can also instill skills that help children build self-confidence. Conversely, a family that is often critical of a child’s performance may lead to reduced self-esteem of an individual.

Family life can also influence one’s political identity. Family discussions of politics typically encourage children to become more politically engaged and attempt to seek out news sources. A focus on politics can also cause children to think more deeply and critically about current events and world issues. Children who actively engage in family political discussions are also more likely to assume their parents’ political views.

Family life also influences occupational identity and career choices. Families that enforce standards and encourage hard work often raise more motivated, ambitious children, whereas a hostile family environment may produce less motivated children who lack the skills to succeed in a career.

Most parents will pass on their values and beliefs onto their kids and most kids will grow up having the same beliefs as their parents. For example, if a person’s parents believe that school is important, then their kids will most likely take school seriously.  However, if a person’s parents don’t care how their kid does in school, then the kid probably feels the same.

A similar principle goes with parent’s opinions and judgments. If a parent has certain racist or bias views then their child will most likely follow the same judgments.  If you grow up thinking a certain way, it’s highly doubtful that will change when you are an adult.

What Is a Family Lifestyle?

A family lifestyle refers to the way that families live and coexist together on a daily basis, and the habits and patterns that these people have as individuals and as part of the family unit. These lifestyles can be healthy or unhealthy, and this does not just refer to physical health, but mental health as well.

The way a family eats, for example or the amount of exercise they get are part of a family lifestyle. Also part of this, however, is the way that people communicate with each other, the way they interact with each other, and the activities the family does together [1].

How does Family Influence Your Lifestyle Choices?

10 Habits of a Healthy Family Culture

For many, living a happy life includes a traditional family life that involves connection, sharing, closeness, and love. Yet achieving that is much easier said than done. How can we intentionally create a healthy family culture? What are some of its characteristics?

I offer the following for consideration.

Establish Shared Family Values

In successful families, founding generations live up to the family values and find ways to pass on them to the young generation as well as model them in their own behavior.  Families who flourish also find many ways to demonstrate values such as stewardship, hard work, and excellence.  Such families are secure and flexible enough to accommodate varying lifestyles and behaviors because they focus on the values that underlie those surface appearances.

  • Define a family mission and vision.

There is no one “right” or “best” value to include in a family mission statement.  It’s common for these statements to include commitments like the following: to support family members in their individual growth, to use the wealth for the good of their community, to support specific causes such as education or medical research, to increase the family wealth, and to foster family closeness.

  • Establish healthy limits or boundaries.

Flourishing families don’t pretend their wealth doesn’t exist or refuse to use it, but they choose to live relatively ordinary lives.  Adults practice the value of restraint by setting reasonable limits and boundaries for themselves in both financial and non-financial ways.  They set similar boundaries for their children in order to actively teach them responsibility and restraint.

  • Support family members in leading lives with purpose.

One of the greatest fears for many wealth creators is that their success will enable future generations to become dependent and live off the family money without becoming contributing members of society.  Successful legacy families are very intentional in supporting each member of the family to live a life with purpose and meaning. The family isn’t threatened by differences in personality, thought or temperament.  Instead, it values the differences and sees them as contributing factors to the strength of the family.

  • Prepare heirs to manage wealth in ways to foster well-being.

Families that flourish do active financial parenting with both young and adult children. When children are small, parents teach them the basics of money skills: setting aside money for saving, spending, and sharing.  As the children approach their teen years, the parents begin teaching them how to earn money and keep a budget.

They allow and encourage adult children to grow up, and they seek out advisors to teach them wealth management.  Most importantly, members of older generations model responsible stewardship by educating themselves financially and being actively involved in managing the family money.

  • Practice Skillful Communication.

What families who communicate well have in common is an intention to be clear and open.  They avoid the manipulation, secrets, and power games that foster dysfunction and distrust. Instead, they have a commitment to transparency.  They are willing to learn from each other, listen to one another, and create an atmosphere of tolerance for differences.  They are willing to work together to resolve conflicts, with help from the professionals if necessary.

  • See the family as a learning system.

Families who are most successful at passing their values on to future generations understand the importance of acknowledging mistakes and learning from them.  They are willing to learn from advisors and are confident enough to seek out those who are willing to “speak truth to power.”  They cultivate a sense of appropriate humility.

  • See the family as a steward of wealth.

Most of the legacy families that I have worked with or interviewed discuss openly the family’s responsibility to be the steward of the wealth.  There is a deep sense that “to whom much is given, much is expected.”  They describe themselves as the custodians of the wealth and the well-being of others. I have worked with a number of families who had very different political or social beliefs from each other, but they were in alignment with the value of making a contribution to the lives of others.

  • Value giving back.

A sense of gratitude and a desire to give back are common in flourishing legacy families.  Many of them set up charitable foundations to manage their giving.  Others work through their churches, community organizations, or existing charitable organizations.  In addition, many family members give generously their time and expertise as well as their money to help other members in their society.

  • Have a long-term view of the family.

It’s important for all adult members of the family to talk about the future as this kind of thinking fosters constructive conversations and trust.  They emphasize questions like, “What’s your dream? What do you want to be looking back on 35 years from now? In the afterlife, whatever your concept of that maybe, what do you want to see in this family?  The focus shifts away from seeing the family money as an ATM for the purpose of allowing family members to withdraw whatever they want whenever they want it.  Instead, the money becomes a shared asset and long-term resource to be tended and used responsibly.

Final Remarks 

Healthy family bonds and relationships give people a sense of belonging and help keep everyone balanced in life. Take a look at your family and think about all the ways they enhance your life. Please share with us your insights.

Chief Editor
the authorChief Editor
Chief Editor
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