45 Of The Sweetest Family Moments To Bring A Dose Of Wholesomeness To Your Day
A family is more than just the sum of its members. A family is built from the sweet moments that they share together, and in the modern era, TikTok can be one of the many platforms where people can share their sweet family moments with the world.
With time, our scientific understanding of the importance of family only deepens with more research and data. On the other hand, changing social norms are expanding the definition of what “family” means to different people, which has the potential to extend that beneficial sense of belonging and unconditional love to groups that may have felt excluded in the past.
As you browse these sweet family moments from the modern era, we hope you recognize your own family’s lovely quirks in some of them!
No matter the size, shape or color of your family, having a group of people you feel a special family bond with is truly special. It’s also key to our mental health and general wellbeing.
According to a paper hosted by the National Library of Medicine, “The quality of family relationships, including social support (e.g., providing love, advice, and care) and strain (e.g., arguments, being critical, making too many demands), can influence well-being through psychosocial, behavioral, and physiological pathways.”
The paper continues by detailing some of the benefits of family life: “Those receiving support from their family members may feel a greater sense of self-worth, and this enhanced self-esteem may be a psychological resource, encouraging optimism, positive affect, and better mental health (Symister & Friend, 2003).”
It also illustrates many more benefits of close family bonds, but also points out that the close relationships we form can make us more vulnerable to stress when things go wrong as well.
The terms “family of choice” or “found family” have been around for a while, but they’ve found new traction in recent decades with the growth of the LGBTQ+ movement. Families of choice are often a much-needed source of love and support for LGBTQ+ people when they come out to families that react with rejection. Without that support network, navigating their identity can be even more difficult.
Other communities benefit from found families as well, including people recovering from drug abuse, orphans, veterans suffering from PTSD, and others who may have special needs that the average family may not be well-equipped to fulfill.
Whether your family is biological or found, it’s important that we all support one another. Sometimes, however, that can be a bit tricky. Not every family’s relationship is smooth. The US Department of Homeland Security (of all places) has some tips for idea on how to reinforce the strength of your relationship with your family, whatever form that family takes:
One of their key recommendations are to establish your own habits, rituals or traditions together. These can encompass some of their other recommendations as well, like staying physically active together or finding opportunities to laugh.
Other recommendations can involve personal work as well. Both you and your family should work on improving your communication and on finding new interests and activities to share with each other. Communication should also involve staying in touch with long-distance family members.
Most of these images are examples of families functioning more or less as they should - loving and supporting one another. But as we mentioned before, family ties can also leave us vulnerable to trauma.
Our relationships with our parents in particular can significantly impact us for the better or worse, but even problematic relations with siblings or distant relations can cause issues.
The overview of how family relationships impact our mental health hosted by the National Library of Medicine continues: “stress in relationships may also lead to health-compromising behaviors as coping mechanisms to deal with stress (Ng & Jeffery, 2003). The stress of relationship strain can result in physiological processes that impair immune function, affect the cardiovascular system, and increase risk for depression (Graham, Christian, & Kiecolt-Glaser, 2006; Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001), whereas positive relationships are associated with lower allostatic load (i.e., “wear and tear” on the body accumulating from stress) (Seeman, Singer, Ryff, Love, & Levy-Storms, 2002). Clearly, the quality of family relationships can have considerable consequences for well-being.”
Mending those relationships can be exhausting. It’s up to each of us individually to determine whether they are worth upholding. We can do so by applying some of the tips mentioned earlier in this article, or we can remember that individual or family therapy is a totally legitimate and very helpful way to improve our relationships with family.
For those of us with healthy, loving and supportive family relationships, let’s not forget to be grateful everyday for the privilege we have! A happy family is something to be cherished and adored. Call your parents, grandparents, or independent children, tell them you love them, and plan a meetup as soon as you can!