To start with this blog, I would like to bring up a thought of Virginia Satir that says: “Feelings of worth can only flourish in an environment where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open and rules are flexible, the kind of environment found in a loving family”.
This introductory phrase is perfect to have an initial idea of what I want to present in this opportunity: how important is the relation between the family unit as a whole and children. Specifically, I want to highlight how the family unit helps young people in many ways.
First, developing children’s skills; both the cognitive and interpersonal skills to be part of society. It is well-known that home is part of the first school because it helps children learn who they are, learn who really loves them, develop their personalities, provide emotional education and support, etc. It’s undeniable that the environment in which children grow up defines fundamental elements for the rest of their lives.
Second, training them adequately by setting examples of values and establishing rules/ limits; tools with which parents are helping them to achieve success. Children and teenagers could perceive rules as limits to their freedom and reject them, and I have experienced that personally, however precisely here is where the role of parents – holding a strong family unit – is truly key to make them understand they can use their freedom to become people of excellence. Now that I remember, that point is something I learned in the third chapter of WYA’s Certified Training Program (highly recommended).
Third, helping them to forge the criteria about the sense of their lives. A family is much more than a source for solving the basic needs of children. As I mentioned before, it has a huge impact on the emotional and social development not only of children but also of all human beings. A consolidated family guides it’s youngest members in ways of thinking, behaving, perceiving the world, valuing their own life and the lives of others, and overall contributes with values that will help to shape children’s and teenagers’ sense of existence.
I recognize that there could be more ways that family could help the development of these young people, but to me these three are the most important.
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Published: March 9, 2022
Written by Flor Yanez, Intern for WYA Latin America.