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One of the greatest successes in life: A united family


Alessandro Pintus | Shutterstock

Guillermo Dellamary - published on 05/15/23

What can you be proud of in life? Psychologist Guillermo Dellamary talks about the richness of having a united family.

A few days ago, a person told me that he was struck when he heard an interview with a celebrity who said that the most important success of a father is when his teenage children want to spend time with him. It was an even greater success, the interviewee had said, if they wanted to travel with him.

This is a good idea of what real success means, because most people reduce “success” to economic or professional achievements. Many fail to see the great value of a family wanting to be together.

Difficult balance

Another person told me that she thought it was very selfish for her husband to want to visit his parents so much. And she felt that once you’re married, you shouldn’t give so much importance to your family of origin, but rather focus more on your spouse and your children.

Of course, this is a complicated issue, because it’s not easy to have a clear balance between devoting attention to your new life and keeping a healthy relationship with your parents and siblings.

There are those who think that once you’re married your parents should take a back seat. There are others who disagree, and conclude that it’s not a matter of giving priority to some over others, but of being kind and attentive to everyone in the family.

What we need to do is keep a prudent balance and try to take care of everyone in the right measure. Possessive people, whether parents or partners, will always have the feeling that they should be the only ones to have the full attention of their spouse or children, and that no one else should usurp their position as number one.

This gives rise to a lot of jealousy, anger, and feelings of sadness for not receiving everything you want from your partner or children.

The real objective should be to keep the family together and for the children, at any age, to want to be with their family.

Keeping your family together is a great success. While it is not entirely in our hands as parents — there are many factors that influence our family and each of our children — it’s important that we teach our children the great value of aspiring to achieve this transcendent success, and not just wanting to obtain material goods, fame, comforts, and luxuries.

What do we need to achieve this goal?

Maintaining the closeness and unity of our family begins with creating a pleasant, friendly, and respectful environment. Our children should grow up in a positive family environment from early childhood. They should enjoy being at home, and feel that their home is a safe space where they receive affection, love, and understanding, along with the indispensable material things to cover their basic needs. 

It’s important that we parents strive to truly make our home the best place to be. Everyone should feel so much peace and joy that they don’t have to look for it in other places to compensate.

Parental example is key.

The home should be a space where true values are cultivated and practiced without scolding or violence of any kind. Parental authority should manifest itself as a source of wisdom and good example, and not as a prison guard who corrects, rewards or punishes.

Children should feel the protection and guidance of their parents, so they can grow up with security and the emotional resources necessary to have healthy confidence.

We are successful if from the beginning they freely choose to be at home, instead of preferring to be away; if they want to talk with their parents and have a friendly relationship with their siblings.

Home is the greatest sanctuary we have, where children should grow up happy knowing that it’s the most beautiful place they can be.

Who wants to leave such a place?

When they reach adolescence they will naturally become more involved in socializing outside the home and discover new worlds and challenges to face. However, in their heart should remain the feeling that their home is a special place and that their family members are exceptional people. They shouldn’t feel the need to leave or escape because of fear and reprisals, or because their home is an uncomfortable place where they face aggression or domineering attitudes.

If our children grow up in such an environment and feel a friendly and positive relationship with their parents and siblings, they’ll always want to hold on to these gifts. They won’t want to move away and make excuses for not wanting to spend time with their family.

It will be a great success if they have love and affection at home and don’t feel an emptiness that forces them to look for it elsewhere.

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