Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Bring your friends close and your families closer. When nurturing a healthy familial bond, it’s crucial that people also consider bonding with their extended family.

There’s no other profound connection than what comes from one’s family.

But when discussing familial bonds, people typically only include their nuclear families or those members they’re directly or in close proximity with. When discussing forging better relationships and forming plans, they’re typically the only members instantaneously included in plans – the direct line, the one-call-away members. This set-up comes with no surprise. After all, people spend the most time with their nuclear family, commonly living with them under one roof.

Yet, in the thick of developing better relationships with one’s nuclear family, an equally important arm of this connection can suffer. When people commonly focus on their immediate families, they end up forgetting about the importance of their extended family.

Understanding Familial Relationships

Family is what people receive the moment they are born. Even before they develop a sense of consciousness, they’re already given a family they can rely on, shoulders they can lean on. Although the familial bond is one people have no choice but to receive and nurture, it remains the strongest connection they will experience. Family serves as people’s closest allies. It’s their primary and immediate source of love and support, more profound than what they receive from friends and lovers.

Sure, some don’t get on well with their families. But there will always be some time in their past when their bonds run tighter and stronger than the strongest water currents.

The strength in this connection can be read in Kenny Harmon’s Sad Papaw’s Heritage. Although an incident of miscommunication sparked the idea, their family’s heritage showcases the colorful and meaningful connections within families. It shows the beauty in having people who will always be there when trouble arises and faces that will be present throughout most people’s memories.

However, if there’s one thing the book spotlights, it’s the importance of cultivating an equal sense of emotional intimacy within the extended family.

In a typical household setting, nuclear families share the same roof, while extended families live in cities or blocks away. While primarily physical, this distance also often grows space within the family’s emotional bond and relationship. But obviously, this shouldn’t be the case.

Intricately Woven In One’s Life, The Extended Family Is Crucial

Family relationships play a vital role in shaping people’s lives. Aside from being their immediate company and the people they, quite literally, share most of their lives with, family members’ influence on people’s days runs deep. Across their lives, their presence embedded within one’s routines and scattered throughout their days significantly impacts one’s well-being.

Depending on their presence, they’re people’s source of guidance, comfort, and strength. As the ever-present and immediate shoulder to cry unto, families play a crucial role in how people react to and encounter stress and woes. This is why it’s equally important that individuals create and maintain healthy family relationships that should include the extended family.

Maintaining good relations with family can be challenging. With the constant pressure of society and conflict and misunderstandings, it can be easy to let negativities slip within familial bonds. Imagine trying to foster the same circumstances with those who typically live far from oneself.

With distance and time constraints, neglecting relationships with one’s extended family can be easy. This leads to the connection being ignored until they’re too weak even to be reconstructed.

Nobody should wait until this happens. Instead, they must always proactively choose to connect and ensure everyone feels respected. This is the only way to foster solid familial relationships.

Quality Time Is The Best Time

Family reunions ensure the extended family and the nuclear family are taken care of. These days are the perfect time to catch up and bridge whatever distance the connection has developed. By allotting regular days for reunions, families are given opportunities to see those who live far from each other and connect with them. This is especially crucial for families with members that may be countries or cities apart, giving them a reason to return home and meet with the others.

Family reunions should be a constant in every family. After all, quality time is the perfect time for families to foster deeper and stronger relationships.

Establish And Continue Traditions

Families should initiate and maintain traditions that make each other feel seen and heard, whether it’s watching movies together or simply attending the kids’ recitals. Families built on traditions grow closer because they have something to share. Regardless of how simple these practices are, what’s important is that families, including the extended family, share these memories.

When families feel like they’re inching apart, members should actively bridge this gap. If the family is close, bring it closer. They should never run out of room for love and happiness. Hence, when the opportunity to grow closer is provided, it should always be grabbed.

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