In today’s busy world, everyone wants to get back to the comfort of one’s own family at the end of the day. This is one social unit where you don’t hide your true self. I’m not saying that there won’t be differences but there are no pretences either. An anonymous quote read, “Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.”
Most of the time, we take our family for granted. They are there and they will be there for us when we need them. True – but if familial ties form such an integral part of our lives, why do we shy away from expressing our love to them?
This incident which happened a month ago set me thinking. My brother, who is based in Singapore, was on a short visit here with his family. We had a good time catching up on old memories and when it was time to say goodbye, I was formally shaking his hand, when my niece quipped from behind “Why don’t you hug each other?” And we did. Believe me, it was such a warm feeling. It’s something that will always remain with me.
However easy it is to love and be loved, it is very difficult to express love. We are so inhibited in our nature that even if we feel like saying “I care for you” to our own family, we hold ourselves back. Most of us expect something from the other person in way of praise, approval or attention and that holds us back from expressing our love openly.
Different countries, different cultures
People from different countries and cultures differ in their display of affections. Asians are generally more closed and conservative than the open and modern Americans. Why does that happen? It could have a lot to do with traditions and norms followed over generations. However, by and by, people are learning to shed their inhibitions and convey their feelings more freely.
Strong families are those in which the bond between husband and wife is rock solid. Stop taking your partners for granted. Some people think their love goes without saying. However, it will help in nurturing the relationship more if feelings are expressed in many tangible ways. It could be through personal actions, looks, attention or through words. In this ever-changing world, it is very important to re-assure your partner as to how much she/he means to you.
Once children settle down in their lives and jobs, they tend to neglect their parents. Remember that your parents are not getting any younger. They might not be around forever. Show them you care through your actions and words. Even a simple phone call once a week will lift their spirits. They are the ones who love you unconditionally.
Children’s way of life is determined by what they experience in their early days. So, if you as a parent communicate your love to them more openly, they will reciprocate correspondingly. Don’t shy away from telling them how much you love them. They will grow up to be more secure individuals. It will help in building their self-esteem. The generation gap is only going to widen and the only way of showing them you care is to be more demonstrative and open with your feelings.
Touch and time
Scientific studies have shown that in order for newborns to do well they must receive touch therapy. A website devoted to babies says, “Touch is one of the first ways parents and babies communicate”.
In that case, why would a touch be less important as we grow older? A touch is comforting and helps us feel closer to people we love. So the next time you are with your loved ones, lean over and give them a hug, hold their hand or just pat their shoulder.
Time spent together with one’s family helps in strengthening familial ties. It is not necessary to wait for a major occasion to come together. Planned family get-togethers rejuvenate and also provide an opportunity to have fun. Even simple things like playing a board game or having a meal together helps in bonding. This is an ideal platform to demonstrate your feelings to your family.
Families grow and change over time, so it is important that we practice skills to remain close and keep family relationships happy and healthy.
Showing your family you love doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. You know them best and know what little things make them happy. So take a couple of minutes out everyday from your busy schedule to show them you care.
Simple Ways To Show You Care
- Buy flowers on unexpected occasions or just attach a small note to show you care
- Write a loving letter to your family member
- Treat your elderly parents to a dinner or a movie
- Simply give a hug to your loved one or family member
- If you have difficulty in conveying your feelings in words, buy cards
- Make it a point to have dinner everyday with your family
- Spend an evening looking at family photo albums together and reminiscing about past memories
- Make it a habit to have an annual vacation for the entire family
- Sharing your concerns, joy, fears, achievements or failures
- Last but not the least, don’t forget to say these simple words, “I love you and care for you”.