Family integration: what it is and why it is necessary
The family is one of the most important elements and with greater weight in the development of the human being. Our fathers, mothers and brothers and sisters are going to be the first beings we come into contact with, and we are going to learning different skills, habits, values and ways of seeing and acting in the world.
However, we live in a complex society which means that, often, there are different types of difficulties (from work schedules discordant to divorces or separations, going through the need to emigrate from one of the parents or the lack of understanding of the needs of the parents). a new member of the family) so that members of the same family share their time in a productive way. That is why it is often necessary to elaborate different policies and mechanisms to facilitate family integration , a concept that we are going to talk about throughout this article.
- Related article: "The 8 types of families and their characteristics"
The concept of family integration
It is understood by family integration to the degree of health, harmony and balance existing in relationships maintained within the members of a family , including and valuing the person and their role within the family nucleus.
Maintaining it requires efforts, activities and actions carried out that allow a strong, structured and coherent relationship and bonding of each and every one of the members of a family nucleus, in such a way that the family functions in an organized and functional way and generate well-being for each of its members. The aim is to achieve a healthy family environment that allows for the development of the family as a whole, with special interest in generating harmony and relationships of trust and unity among its members.
Generally, when we talk about family integration we are referring to the efforts to maintain a strong and respectful union and bond within the family in which adults can be involved in the lives of their children, allowing all family members to maintain a quality relationship and act as reference figures.
A good family integration allows to promote positive values and guarantee a quality education by dedicating and having enough time and effort to carry out joint activities and favor the good relationship between the members of the family, as well as the implication of this in the family. life of its members. For this it is necessary that members of the family group share quality time , as well as communication and expressing fears, doubts, emotions, joys and values.
Another aspect that may be important is not only how the family behaves internally but how it is linked to the rest of society and the environment, including work, friendships or leisure activities.
Likewise, the relationship must be good not only with the youngest members of the family, but also among the rest of its members, including the couple's relationship (if there is one). A good interrelation is not only good to encourage the union between them but also has an effect on the rest of the family (especially children). This does not mean that a badly-averaged couple should stay together despite not wanting to, but that their interaction is sufficiently respectful so that the rest of the environment and especially the children are not harmed by it or feel guilty about their bad relationship.
- Maybe you're interested: "Family therapy: types and forms of application"
The relevance of favoring it
Family integration is not something that takes place just because. It has been shown that those families in which there are dynamics that allow this linkage allow the healthy evolutionary development of all its components and especially of children, which can develop a strong self-esteem and a series of positive values that allow coexistence with others.
Communication is also favored and the search for and application of coherent limits becomes easier, and these are more easily understandable for minors. It can also make it difficult to present antisocial values, tending to aggression or the search for unequal power relations. Similarly, the possible search for ways to escape from reality (such as drugs) is also difficult. a more active search for a solution to the problems that arise is favored .
It has also been observed that the absence of a good family integration favors problems of concentration, lower productivity, tendency to discomfort and sadness, less ability to cope with stressful situations or less ability to socialize.
- Maybe you're interested: "Family diversity: single-parent families and homoparentales"
What can hinder family integration?
As we have said, maintaining family integration is very important to achieve generate an environment and positive climate among the members of a family and that it develops normally. But the truth is that there are a lot of factors that can harm this integration.
One of them and probably the most common one is the difficulty when it comes to reconciling family and work, especially if the schedules or type of employment means that the children spend a lot of time alone or that one of the parents barely spends time with them. In this sense, it is advisable to find moments to spend together and intervene through games and various activities.
The existence of inequalities in the relationships of couple, undervaluation of the needs of some of the members of the family environment or the presence of problems such as criminality, addiction to substances or intrafamily violence are also cause of problems of family disintegration, also generating a negative model for the development of the child .
Situations of continued unemployment, social exclusion and / or extreme poverty can also generate difficulties to maintain this integration. Another possible difficulty of special importance is the lack of perception of the needs of family members, both at the level of a couple and children. This could be seen for example in some children with special educational needs , as it could be the case of children with intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy or mental disorders.
If the presence of difficulties is detected to maintain a normative union and link, it may be useful to resort to some type of family therapy, mediation or family orientation in order to find solutions to the problems that may arise. In this case you can use relatives, such as grandparents, or professional caregivers, but in this sense it is necessary to develop social policies by the administration and the business sector to allow a real reconciliation.
- Castro, R.J., Arias, W.L., Dominguez, S., Masias, M.A., Solange, X., Canales, F. and Flores, A. (2013). Family integration and socioeconomic variables in Arequipa metropolitana.Revista de Investigación (Arequipa), 4: 35-65.
- Dager, E.Z .; McCullough, B.C. (1976). Family Integration: A Multi-Dimensional Concept.
- Rogers, E.M. & Sebald, H. (1962). A distinction between family, family integration and kinship orientation. Marriage and Family Living, 24 (1): 25-30.