Cementing Family Ties.
Byline: Anila Omer
A number of traits in Pakistan contribute towards cementing the family ties for creating strong and healthy society. Among the most important characteristics are learning from the elderly and caring for the young.
Guidance of the elderly
Social support networks, especially guidance of elders, continue to hold the family together as a unit. The elders of the household make rules that are not suffocating but allow each member to be an effective part of the family. These elders are our source of encouragement and blessing, and when they are the nucleus of the family, the unit comes together and is well-bonded.
When elders practice cultural and spiritual values like humility, gratitude, respecting others despite differences of opinions, being forgiving, sharing their blessings, and being compassionate, they also make their children adopt these values from a very young age, encouraging them to become more adaptive. This, in turn, makes these children more resilient in testing times, as they know and believe that their significant others will stand by them no matter what happens. It is very important to inculcate these values at a very young age. These attributes and experiences came naturally, when people lived in joint families. Today, however, parents have to make a conscious effort to give time to their children and carefully plan activities that develop these qualities within them.
How families can cement their ties further
Parents should give special attention to rising of the young generation, so that they do not grow up as self-centred and entitled individuals, which may handicap them from building their own strong families in future. Make your children do work for you and for themselves. Let them earn what they desire, let them value what they have and do away with sarcasm in everyday communication. Use positive words, call your children with terms of endearment, and create a positive environment at home. Make gratitude to each other and to Allah (swt) part of your daily life, share happy stories and anecdotes, eat meals together, and share your happiness with others.
Tips for combating stress
* Exercise or daily, walk or swim
* Breaking monotony
* Staying away from negative people
* Hot bath
* Meet friends
* Go to the Masjid
* Do Wudhu
If a person is unable to come out of stress, then professional help must be sought in order to get them back on the right track. Delay in seeking help often leads to further complications. Lastly, it is high time that people educate themselves and their loved ones to break the stigma attached to mental health conditions, because these are clinical diseases just like flu or malaria and should be treated by qualified professionals.