We have more than one family in our lifetime. The family we were born into and the families we create.
The time we spend with our families is the time we are truly ourselves. Family life and experience shapes us into the person we are today and the life we lead.
International Day of Families has been celebrated and observed by the world on Tuesday, May 15th every year since 1994. This year’s International Families Day theme is ‘Families and Inclusive Societies’. This theme will ‘explore the role of families and family policies in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16 in terms of promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.’
How your family life can affect you in later life
The family we are given or the family we choose plays an important role in creating and sustaining peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies. As our primary agents of socialisation, our family determines our well-being as a child and they transmit their value and beliefs into us. Growing up in a stable and supportive family system encourages us to develop positive cognitive, emotional and social characteristics. Positive socialisation provides us with physiological needs, safety and security needs and social belonging needs. This all contributes to positive communities and societies.
Furthermore, the reciprocal love and care we receive as children from our families can affect the quality of attachments we make later in life. Bowlby, a psychoanalyst, believed as babies we are born with innate behaviours. These ensure we make attachments which determine our survival. Not having these attachments were thought to result in long-term consequences. These include delinquency, reduced intelligence, increased aggression, depression and affectionless psychopathy. ‘Having secure attachments as a child means we’re more likely to be self-reliant and empathetic adults, be more civically engaged and involved in community work and have good problem skills’. Additionally, longitudinal studies have had the ability to show us how having a secure attachment is beneficial in later life. For example, it increases the likelihood of being able to ‘develop strong and healthy relationships and lead stable family lives as adults’.
What is the day’s purpose?
The day’s purpose is to ‘promote awarness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them- whether that’s to do with age, gender, race or sexuality.’
The International Day of Families can help spread awareness on these issues. The decisions we make as individuals influence the decisions which affect our families, communities and society. Therefore, we have the power to make a difference. For example, achieving equality and equal justice for all family members no matter gender or any other characteristic. Furthermore, the day encourages stronger laws to give more rights and protection to all families. Rights and protection include ‘equal access to economic resources, ownership of land and other property and access to work providing a decent living wage to sustain themselves and their families’. Also, access to basic social services and civil and political rights to vote are all part of achieving the SDG 16 target for families.
There are many issues we need to find solutions to for families across the globe. This includes education, healthcare, gender equality, children’s rights, social integration, work-family balance, poverty, social inclusion, disabilities and homelessness.
What happens on the day/ what can you do to celebrate the day?
This day inspires different countries across the globe ‘to create their own family days or community-based awareness events that bring attention to issues concerning families’.
People acknowledge this holiday all over the world in different ways.
- Your community could hold a public exhibition
- Hold discussions surrounding ways in which we can all come together to achieve the SDG 16 target for families
- Hold education sessions for young people
- Attend policy meetings to discuss the policies that directly impact families
- Choose to spend the day with your own families and make more time throughout the year for quality family time.
Not all family relationships are perfect. If you wish to discuss any family problems you may be having be it personal relationships or child contact please contact us.
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