Creating real connections in this digital age is becoming rare, and even now, we have forgotten the reasons why family bonding is necessary for happiness in life. We are losing touch with this vital facet of our lives, spending more time with our devices than in meaningful activity with the people we love.
What is at risk if we do not prioritize family bonding? A lot. Studies have shown that bonding with our family is essential for our happiness and well-being.
What is Family Bonding?
Family bonding is the act of spending time with our identified family to create an emotional connection. We can create strong bonds with even the most minor acts. However, we need to be consistent.
Activities like family game nights, brunch every Sunday, taking walks, or seeing a movie together can boost our connection. But, for better bond building, we need:
- Good communication
- A great support system
When a family is cohesive, they offer each other emotional support and balanced socialization. It helps to create a healthy balance of prioritizing the independence of each family member. It indirectly builds a society filled with optimistic, active, caring, and socially intelligent individuals.
What Research Says About Family Bonding
Research has demonstrated that there are many benefits to quality family time spent together. These include providing family members the resources to help cope with stress, take better care of their health, and improve self-esteem.
In fact, the Harvard Study of Adult Development has discovered in the longest study on happiness that the most vital key to a happy life and lifetime success is the support of relationships with family and friends.
The Director of this study, Dr. Robert Waldinger, recently provided a TED talk and offered the insight that people who are more connected to family are physically healthier, report more happiness in life, and live longer than those who are lonely.
A healthy family with strong bonds has terrific benefits for adults, influencing their work, self-perception, and life. However, the benefits for children offered support through family cohesion are even more remarkable.
A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2019 found that children in homes with solid family cohesion not only avoid negative outcomes such as drug use or experience mental health issues but also tend to flourish.
Children who had healthy family relationships reported better self-acceptance, a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and a greater sense of purpose in life.
Five Reasons Why Family is Necessary for Happiness in Life
Studies have established that solid family bonds are necessary for happiness. However, what do these emotional connections offer that help to support a happy and successful life?
Let’s examine the benefits of strong family bonds:
1. Family Bonding Supports Better Mental Health
Spending time with the family provides an environment in which family members feel valued and supported. A family who spends time together creates an environment that promotes:
- Sharing of emotions openly
- A safe space
- A feeling of support
- Access to advice when facing life’s challenges.
Being free from mental health issues will not guarantee a happy life. However, experiencing the support, bond, and care available throughout life can help us navigate tough times.
2. Emotional Connections Support Healthy Self Esteem
Spending time with family promotes a sense of positive self-worth, especially for children. As a business owner and parent, spending time with your children makes them feel valued and worthy of love and attention.
It is valid for adults as well. When our partner pays attention and sets aside time to spend together, a sense of support and connection is fostered. The feeling of support builds confidence.
3. Family Cohesion Promotes Academic and Social Success
Family bonding benefits you, your partner, and your children. Here’s how: Children whose parents are interested in their school work, talents, and lives show improved academic performance.
Helping children study and complete homework will encourage them to seek assistance when struggling. Also, children with strong family bonds are less likely to engage in risky behaviors or have disciplinary issues in school.
When you are at peace with your family, you also do well at work, make better decisions, and learn to listen. Consequently, you have a good relationship with your colleagues and employees.
4. Family Relationships Foster Other Healthy Connections
Good relationships in society start at home. Strong family bonds support the development of key interpersonal skills, such as compromise, empathy, consideration for the happiness of others, and conflict resolution.
These behaviors being modeled and practiced in a supportive family unit will promote the ability to engage in these healthy social skills in relationships with others outside the home. This will help support quality friendships and success at work and in life.
5. A Sense of Belonging is the Best Predictor of Happiness in Life
The key to a happy life is offering unconditional love, support, and a haven from stress. Creating a sense of belonging is a fundamental reason why family bonding is necessary for happiness in life. Research has shown that people who have a sense of belonging to a group will report greater happiness in life and a better overall sense of well-being.
Encouraging family bonding will support better emotional connections both within the family and in relationships outside the home. Supporting children through a healthy home environment that stresses family cohesion will offer them an advantage for happiness in life.
Five Ways to Create Strong Family Bonds
Given why family bonding is necessary for happiness in life, you may be thinking about ways to promote family cohesion in your home. Building strong family bonds is not complicated, and introducing simple habits can help to promote greater happiness in your home.
Here are some ways you can build a bond with your family:
- Develop family rituals or traditions.
Start by offering routines, fun family occasions, or activities. These do not need to be elaborate plans. Also, you can host a game night, one night a week, with popcorn and root beer floats. Or perhaps, host a family reunion.
- Be involved with one another.
Take an interest in each other’s lives by being involved in the activities and interests of family members, especially children. Attend sports games, get to know their friends, or read their school essays. Being interested in the things important to your family promotes a sense of value.
- Insist on family meal time.
Schedules with sports, school, and friends can become very overwhelming. Carve out time every day for family meals. Make it a rule that everyone comes together for one 30-minute meal daily.
- Share hobbies and interests.
Spend time together engaging in the hobby of each family member. This could be gardening, fishing, watching Sunday football games, or reading a book together. Sharing hobbies promotes time together, finding similar interests, and reinforces the importance of compromise and engaging in an activity that someone else enjoys.
- Prioritize time together away from everyday life.
There are different ways to make family and career a priority. Hence, taking time away from the stress, work, and chores to enjoy each other’s company is essential.
Family vacations are a great way to connect and promote strong family bonds. However, If finance is an issue, you can plan a day trip or go for a picnic.
Sometimes, wefind ourselves dealing with work, making it difficult to make time for family. But it is best practice to create opportunities for family cohesion and emotional connection by investing time in family.
At the end of our lives, what will give us the most meaning and satisfaction is likely the relationships we have experienced. We will hold dear the time spent with others. And also the memories we have made with our family and friends.
These are the reasons why family bonding is necessary for happiness in life. Good luck as you connect with those that are dear to you.
Live, love, take chances,
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I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, mom of three, and an avid traveler. Writing is my passion and I love to share resources to those seeking to live their best life.