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The importance of family

Editor’s Note: Community Comment is a periodic column in The Mount Airy News featuring commentary from community leaders in Mount Airy and Surry County. This particular column is part of a monthly series on drug abuse prevention and treatment.

Family is one of the most significant aspects of life. It is where an individual can find love, support, and acceptance, both in good times and bad. Family units consist of parents and siblings, and extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Family can also be a closeknit group of people who aren’t biologically related, but who love and care for each other. Whether it is the nuclear or extended family, the role it plays in shaping an individual’s life is enormous. Why is family important and why does it matter?

The family provides emotional support to every member, particularly during trying times. It is the foundation upon which individual development is based. Family members support each other mentally, physically, and emotionally, especially during challenging times like an illness, financial difficulties, or a loss. The support reduces the impact of the problem on the individual, helps them cope, and can lead to a faster recovery. Family members offer advice, help, and care that they require, and in most cases, they do it without expecting anything in return.

Families also mold an individual’s values, belief systems, and attitudes. They shape how an individual perceives the world and their place in it. Parents are the child’s first teachers, as they learn how to function in society, communicate, and interact with other people. The family unit often shapes the way children will grow and develop even after they leave the family atmosphere.

Growing up in a healthy family encourages positive behaviors and can aid in preventing destructive behaviors such as substance misuse. Children who grow up in a healthy family learn the importance of respecting authority, teamwork, setting and achieving goals, and the value of hard work. They are also likely to have effective problem-solving skills, form healthy relationships, and become responsible adults.

Furthermore, the family is an essential component of an individual’s identity. Children often inherit certain traits from their parents, such as physical attributes and personalities. Even though this is not always the case, an individual’s identity is shaped and influenced by their experiences and interactions within the family.

Families also play a significant role in supporting an individual’s education and career. They encourage and support children to perform well in school, by providing the necessary resources, including financial and emotional support. The motivation and support have long-term benefits for the child, as they will be more likely to have better life opportunities and more chance of personal and professional growth.

Lastly, the family unit provides a sense of belonging and connection to the past, present, and future. Like a thread that connects generations, a family’s shared history and experiences help members understand who they are and where they come from. The family maintains traditions, customs, and stories, which allow members to connect to their heritage. It is an opportunity to learn about the family, share stories, and create memories that will be treasured for years to come.

Family is important because it provides emotional support during difficult times, educates, and encourages positive behaviors, shapes an individual’s identity, supports individuals’ educational and career goals, and provides a sense of belonging and connection. Family is the fundamental unit of society, and without it, life would be chaotic, lonely, and stressful. Therefore, we must cherish and value our families, and the role they play in our lives. We must prioritize spending time with our loved ones and creating happy memories.

If you would like to learn more about building stronger families, please contact Charlotte Reeves, Surry County Office of Substance Abuse Recovery Community Outreach Coordinator, at Visit the website at for more information about substance use disorder and the many resources in our County.



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