Family

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Being a part of a family can be great because you will always have someone who belongs to you, who has shared memories with you, and who can help and support you.

Every family is different, from small to large, families together and those that live separately, adopted families, step parents and brothers or sisters, or living with foster parents or guardians. There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ family.

Sometimes there are problems getting along with one another when you share living spaces. It’s natural and normal to argue at times and there’s no such thing as a perfect family. However we can learn a lot about getting on with other people from learning to live with our families at home.

Here are some tips to achieving happy family relationships:

  • Talk to your family members about your feelings and concerns, remember to listen to each other
  • If you want people to treat you well then you have to treat them nicely too. People who treat each other with honesty and respect will get along together much better than if they are rude, loud and selfish
  • Being a girl or a boy, the eldest, youngest, shortest or tallest doesn’t grant you more rights than the others in the family. It’s about being tolerant and considerate of one another

This section provides you with information about family life.

The Mix – Family life

Family Point Cymru – RCT

You can call The Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123 to discuss any issues or problems you may have. You can also chat online with someone from Meic or call the helpline on 0808 80 23456.

Mums, Dads and Carers

Mums, dads and carers or guardians are big parts of our lives, but you might not always see eye to eye with them

It is completely normal to have the occasional argument with your parents or carers as you grow up, it could be about boyfriends and girlfriends, going out, money, school or college, just to name a few. They might have different ideas to you and arguments can happen if you feel strongly about something and your parents or carers disagree.

  • There are other ways to resolve problems without arguing. Having a calm and well-reasoned discussion is likely to get you much further
  • Remember your parents or carers were your age once and they know what it is like. Try and take on board their opinions and suggestions. Often they are just concerned for your wellbeing and safety
  • Communication is the key to a happy relationship. Keeping your feelings inside can leave you frustrated and unhappy and can often lead to more arguments. If something is bothering you, be honest and talk to them in a calm and controlled manner – you’ll be surprised how much it can help. Try to find a time when you’re all relaxed to talk to them about your concerns
  • Some parents or carers can seem overprotective, pushy or seem to not understand your views. If you think your parent or carer is being unfair, then talk them through the issues that are affecting you and try to reach a compromise.

When your parents don’t give their blessing

You can call The Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123 to discuss any issues or problems you may have. You can also chat online with someone from Meic or call the helpline on 0808 80 23456.

Step Parents

Living with a step-parent or a step-family can be difficult at first and it can take a while to adjust. It is very hard to imagine how your new family life will be and it will take time to get to know them.

It can also be upsetting to see one of your parents with a new partner, but remember your step-parent will not be looking to replace your real mum or dad.

  • Trying to get along with your new step-parent doesn’t mean you are being disloyal to your real parent. It’s a good sign of you being grown-up and adjusting to a new situation in a mature and healthy way
  • It is very natural that you might feel jealous, angry, confused, upset and worried, or a mixture of these emotions. Try talking to your parent or another member of the family about how you feel and together find ways to resolve these feelings
  • At first you may not like your new step-parent or family. It is normal to feel threatened, but give it time for everyone to adjust. Remember, it will not be easy for your step-parent or family either
  • Although it might not feel like it at times, having a step-parent or step-family can be a good thing. After all, you have even more people who care about you to give you love and support, introduce you to and teach you new things. Not to mention two Christmases!

Happy Steps – help for stepfamilies

You can call The Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123 to discuss any issues or problems you may have. You can also chat online with someone from Meic or call the helpline on 0808 80 23456.

Brothers And Sisters

Many siblings don’t get on when growing up and arguments are a natural part of your relationship with them.

Sometimes you have to share a room with them as well as living in the same house which can mean that you don’t have your own private space. It can be hard sharing your things with them or having them invade your privacy, but there are ways to improve the situation.

  • Try and think about the reasons why you argue (and be honest) – is it because you want your own space? You’re not getting as much attention as them? Are you jealous?
  • When you feel calm, try talking to your brother or sister about how you feel and ask them to tell you how they feel too. Don’t shout at each other but try to have a controlled conversation, taking on board their opinions and criticisms maturely
  • Learning what triggers arguments can also help prevent them starting altogether so discuss it together and come up with ways of avoiding them
  • Next time you feel angry and you can feel an argument starting, take a deep breath and don’t lash out. Leave the room, relax and confront the issue calmly when you feel ready
  • Brothers and sisters have different roles in a family. For example, the eldest may be given more responsibilities and asked to set an example for their younger brothers or sisters. The youngest child may be given more freedom but can sometimes feel over-protected and treated like a baby. However you feel, discuss it with your parents
  • If you feel your brother or sister gets more attention than you, this is something you need to talk to your parents or carers about. Tell them how and why you feel like this and look for ways to improve the situation like arranging a trip with your parents or carers
  • If you feel your brother or sister is better than you at something, remember what you’re good at. For example, they may be better at sports than you, but you may get higher marks at school. No-one is perfect and everyone is different and has different interests and abilities, so don’t compare yourself to your brother or sister.
  • You don’t have to be best friends with your brother or sister, but it is important to show them respect. If you show respect for your siblings, they will learn to show the same respect to you
  • Often brothers and sisters who argue when they are younger grow up to be very close. Your siblings will always be there for you so ensure you support and talk to each other

Sibling Survival Guide

You can call The Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123 to discuss any issues or problems you may have. You can also chat online with someone from Meic or call the helpline on 0808 80 23456.

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