Creating a Sense of Belonging in the Home

A key to an emotionally healthy life is having the backing of a strong, supportive family. A strong family may be as small as two people or as large as a kinship network of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The size and composition of the family matter less than the feeling of belonging and the sense of support that emerges from living with stable familial bonds. People seem to do better in life when they feel they belong to something larger and stronger than themselves. A strong familial network diminishes the uncertainties that arise from everyday stresses.

The Changing Dynamics of Family: The family has undergone many changes over recent decades due to major social and cultural upheavals. Traditionally, in agriculturally based societies or among immigrants, families thrived on kin support. However, the mid-twentieth century onward has seen a steady unraveling of this ideal. Various factors—such as for example government programs, mobility, job mobility, and improved communication technologies, the online world, high divorce rate—have contributed to families spending less time together and facing challenges in maintaining commitment, communication, and shared spiritual values.

Maintaining a Sense of Belonging: Despite these changes, some families have overcome these threats and continue to thrive. Strong families demonstrate that it is possible to maintain a sense of belonging and support even amidst contemporary challenges.

Building a sense of belonging within the family is crucial for emotional wellness. Despite the evolving dynamics of family structures, fostering a supportive and connected family environment remains essential for reducing the stresses of everyday life.

Dr.Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT