Family is the single most important thing in many people’s lives. From the moment of their birth, children rely on their families (often primarily their mother and father, but less traditional arrangements are common too) to provide for them and make sure their needs are attended to. The most important learning of a person’s whole life takes place in their earliest years and their main teachers at this stage of their lives will be their parents.
The importance of family can be seen very clearly in the impact it has on people who have not been lucky enough to have a loving family during their childhood years. People who suffered abuse, neglect, or had one or both of their parents missing from their lives during their childhood usually suffer some negative effects throughout the rest of their lives. Children who have a bad upbringing are much more often to grow up to be criminals, drug addicts, or suffer from mental health problems. Even children brought up in good foster or care homes are more likely to have such issues than other children, suggesting that growing up with your biological (or perhaps adopted) family is important.
Family is important as you get older because people of all ages need a good support network around them. Many people rely on their parents or other older relatives for advice about a variety of topics, even when they have grown up and have their own children, because these family members have more life experience and have probably been through many of the same things before. When a woman has her first child, for example, one of the most important people in her life is often her own mother. Many women want their mother to be present at the birth and be available for support, particularly during the first few weeks, because their mother has done it all before with them.
Another reason that family is important is that a loving and supportive family will be there for you no matter what. Friends may leave your side when things get very tough, or if you mess up and do something wrong or something to hurt them. Many families however, will stick by a person no matter what they have done, because they love them unconditionally. This kind of unconditional love can only be found within a family unit and is most commonly found from a parent to their child.
Siblings can also be very important to many people. Children growing up as an only child can be lonely during childhood and they don’t learn vital social skills from an early age, like communicating and playing with other children and dealing with conflict. Many people are very close to their brothers and sisters when they grow up, even if they fought as great deal as children, and there are lots of people who consider their brother or sister to be their best friend. Siblings are usually a fairly similar age and have had similar experiences, so if there is a difficult time as a family (a bereavement for example) a sibling may be the best person to talk to.