Resilient families are able to create strong bonds with which to cope with adversity. But it is essential to sow fireproof force on sunny days to help us in stormy times.
Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: February 18, 2022
Resilient families know how to deal with more than one difficulty. They have strengthened their covenants, learned resources and accumulated reserves to face life not only with greater integrity, but also with more love, humility, and hope. It is not always easy to stay together in the face of certain challenges of destiny, but there are those who succeed effectively.
The term "resilient families" may attract our attention; however, we are not looking for a new concept or innovative approach to resilience. We know that the development of this competence in many cases takes place within the family environment. That primary phase in which we grow up is often instrumental in building the roots of resilience.
On the other hand, there is a relevant aspect pointed out by experts in this field such as Doctors Roland Atkinson, Allan Martin and CR. Rankin, (2009). It would be very useful to train families on the components of this dimension. Resilience must be sown on sunny days for it to grow enough to help us on stormy days. Therefore, we don't have to wait for adversity to cultivate this tool so necessary for our psychological well-being.
"When everything seems to go against you, remember that the plane takes off against the wind, not for it."
How are families resilient?
Salvador Minuchin, psychiatrist, pediatrician and well-known family therapy expert, conceived the family from a structural perspective, where all its members relate and influence each other in a decisive way. So, the ability to face such concrete realities, such as economic or health problems, will greatly depend on the personality and resources of its members and how they interact with each other.
Some families, for example, are unable to provide effective support to their members. These are social microcosms where synergy and harmony are absent, where there is no solid family unit and alliances fall apart when things go wrong. This reality may seem familiar to all of us and no doubt we know the consequences.
Experts on the subject such as Dr. Fiona Walsh, of Boston University, explain in a study that one of the strategies to guarantee the psychological well-being of the human being is undoubtedly that of being able to teach the components of resilience to parents. Let's see how below.
Attachment and support
Every satisfying bond requires affection, security, healthy love that respects itself without bothering the other, which you support without conditions or blackmail. The first pillar of resilient families is undoubtedly that of attachment and support, where all members lend a hand to each other and feel a solid and strong bond that will not allow anyone to fall. Whatever happens, that family unit will always stay together, sustaining and nourishing each other emotionally.
In this family we believe in love and respect. We do not tolerate lies, we do not accept words that hurt and behavior that despises. In this house we defend hugs and nice words. We respect opinions, even if they do not coincide with ours. We also appreciate spending time together, talking honestly, asking for help when asked and supporting each other at all times and under all circumstances. These ideas are simple examples of values that should form the basis of any resilient family.
Cohesion and flexibility
An essential premise of resilient families is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. What does this mean? Basically that in the family unit it is not only the father or the mother who holds all the power and authority. A family is an alliance based on interdependence, respect and unity, in which all have the same value.
At the same time, and not least, there must be flexibility. In happy families there are no rigid patterns, there are no patterns that everyone must adapt to in order to satisfy the father's ideal or the mother's wishes. Each member has the right to grow, to choose, to build himself. Because flexibility is synonymous with respect and freedom.
Communication in resilient families
Communication is an indispensable tool that makes alliances possible and that makes us overcome any problem. A family that facilitates spaces for communication, empathic listening, assertiveness and understanding, can face any circumstance together. Few dimensions are so fundamental in our social fabric that knowing how to communicate and allowing others to communicate with openness and appreciation.
Family rituals and time spent together
Another essential nutrient of resilient families is time spent together. It is true that it is not always possible to do it as much as you would like, but it is essential that every shared moment is of quality; hence the importance of family rituals. With this term we refer to those daily moments with which we nourish our covenants and our affections.
So, for example, reading something to the children before going to sleep or just asking how their day was, it is a ritual that strengthens the relationship, which increases trust and strengthens bonds that always last.
Finally, family resilience is made up of love, respect and commitment. These components are designed to promote and ensure the care of all members. Remember: the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts and this should always define each family unit. Let's keep that in mind.