Although it’s said that blood is thicker than water, I know many people who have concluded that it simply isn’t true in all cases. Certainly, ideally our family would be there to support us (and vice versa), but sometimes there just isn’t a positive relationship – and when there is, family members may still not be the best people to turn to. Here’s why...
1 Thicker than Water?
Photo Credit: Gabriela Camerotti
Just because you’re related doesn’t mean you will get on. People envy me because I have a close relationship with my sisters, but that didn’t happen automatically. It developed over time, and required an effort on both sides.
2 Bad Job
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I don’t think it’s too drastic to say that some people should never have become parents. Genuine cruelty cases may be in the minority, but certain parents do a poor job of caring for the children they brought into the world. Some of my friends have been badly let down by the very people who should love them most and understandably want little or nothing to do with them now.
3 Jealousy and Favouritism
Photo Credit: shershe
Mothers can be jealous of daughters, especially if they resent their daughter’s youth. A sibling may undermine another. Parents can show a preference for one child over another, or even exclude one from their favour. No one should feel like the odd one out in the family …
Photo Credit: Jon Block
In the past, there was much less mobility, and people tended to stay in the area where they grew up. Nowadays, we are much more likely to move for work, study, relationships, or simply because we want to. So your family may be a long way off, whereas you will have friends nearby when you need help.
Photo Credit: Balakov
Some day we will nearly all face the prospect of elderly parents needing care. With the best will in the world, family members are not always the best people to provide that care. If you want to, and you can cope, then fine, but not everyone is cut out for the role (and that is not their fault). Feeling pushed into being a carer will simply lead to stress and resentment.
6 Live Your Life
Photo Credit: Double Image Photography
Equally, not all parents want their children to look after them in old age. They want their children to have their own lives. The other side of this is that parents should not feel obliged to provide regular childcare for grandchildren – they too have a right to do what they want with their time.
7 You Can Choose Your Friends …
Photo Credit: E.L.A
Families can be very close, but growing up together and being related doesn’t automatically mean that you will get on with someone. Family members can be very different people, and any relationship is complicated, even that of families.
8 Too Close
Photo Credit: Anna Gay
Ideally we should be able to confide in our family about everything in our lives, and turn to them when we have problems. Sometimes, though, we are reluctant to do so for fear of worrying them. Depending on the situation, it can be better to share your problems with a friend, who may not be affected in quite the same way as a family member. They may also be more impartial!
Do you think that family should be more important than anything else? Have you reason to think the opposite? Do you love your family or have little to do with them?