F is for Family

What better thing to give thanks for on Thanksgiving, than family? According to Merriam-Webster, family is derived from the Latin word familia means household which referred to both relatives as well as servants. A traditional concept of family has been parents and children living together, typically with the intent of raising children, or those adults and children with a common ancestry. Today, family today has grown beyond the traditional terms.

The true value of family is those who support and love you, and the people you can confide in and trust. Family provides a framework of values, a place to share life joys and sorrows, and provide a setting for personal growth. In fact, family the single most important thing in a child’s life.

Unfortunately, families just aren’t perfect. Unresolved family conflicts can lead to more stress at holiday gatherings. Not addressing the conflict in a heartfelt and apologetic way can lead to difficult relationships based on painful memories, mistrust, and misreading of verbal or social cues. BUT, holiday time is not the time to rehash old wounds and conflict. It is a time to promote peace and minimize opportunity for conflict. At an appropriate private time, indicating a desire to have a heartfelt discussion, offering an apology, or personally forgiving someone and letting go can help to resolve conflict. Forgiving someone allows you to not harbor negative feelings, which creates stress, and can lead to health issues. Believe it or not, you can forgive someone and at the same time protect your vulnerability to potential future wrongs.

Thanksgiving is a time to strengthen family. It is a time to set aside differences, recognize each other for the gifts you have, and give thanks for family. Strong family bonds create security and happiness and is a valuable foundation for children. It is also a time to enjoy activities together, beyond even sharing the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

So, whomever you count as family, join with them this Thanksgiving holiday in Peace.

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