The definition of family is one that 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 individuals and society.
Family Improves Overall Well-Being
Over many years, research consistently shows kids who grow up living with their biological, married parents have better overall well-being than kids who are living in a different scenario. In these kinds of families, kids and parents get plenty of time together, there is often more economic security, and there is less emotional distress.
Families Provide Stress Relief
Family ties have been shown to provide stress relief by boosting self-esteem and lessening anxiety, especially for young people who have been exposed to violence. This strong bond can act as a sort of protective shield and offers a sense of belonging in troubling times.
Family Meals Contribute to Healthy Diets
Across all ages, families who eat meals together have healthier diets that include eating breakfast, ample fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed food. These 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 in every generation.
Family Ties Help Regulate the Economy
Families who share strong bonds tend to prefer living situations where they can remain close in proximity. This contributes to more regulated jobs and wages because families who stay together want a job market where they have security and fair wages so they won't have to move away. Labor markets are often dictated at their core by the workforce in the area.
Strong Family Values Promote Wealth
Families that include a married couple and their biological children promote wealth in the family and the economy. These types of families have a higher median income than others and are strongly associated with economic growth. This built-in support system gives parents and kids the opportunity to pursue higher levels of education with lower living costs and provides encouragement for meeting individual potential.
Family Interactions Help Prevent Crime
A recent review of research shows prisoners who are visited by family members have a 40 percent lower chance of becoming a repeat criminal than those with no family visits. Unconditionally supportive relationships in great times of need or change can help people get through tough times. Those who have made bad choices and continue to receive emotional support from family maintain a sense of worth and have something in life to keep them motivated.
Early Family Bonds Help Regulate 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 have more control over regulating their emotions are self-aware and able to deal with feelings of any kind in appropriate and healthy ways.
Family Closeness Helps People Live Longer
In a recent long-term study, researchers found adults with no close relationships to family members other than a spouse were about twice as likely to to die as adults with close family relationships. Results from the study also showed a lot of strong family ties were more beneficial than a few strong family relationships, and family bonds 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.
Keep Relatives Close
Healthy family bonds and relationships give people a sense of belonging and help keep everyone balanced in life. Take a look at your own family and think about all the ways they enhance your life.