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Family integration: what is it and why is it necessary

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The family is one of the most important and most important elements in the development of the human being. Our fathers, mothers and siblings are going to be the first beings with whom we come in contact, and from them we will go learning different skills, habits, values and ways of seeing and acting in the world.

However, we live in a complex society that often causes different types of difficulties (from working hours to discordant work to divorces or separations, through the need to emigrate from one of the parents or the lack of understanding the needs of a new family member) so that members of the same family share their time of 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.

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The concept of family integration

Family integration is understood to be the degree of health, harmony and balance existing in the relationships maintained within the members of a family

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, including and valuing the person and their role within the family nucleus.

Maintaining it requires efforts, activities and actions carried out that allow a relationship and strong, structured and coherent bonding of each and every one of the members of a nucleus family, 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 the development of the family as a whole, with special interest in generating harmony and relationships of trust and union between its components.

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 that all family members maintain a quality bond and act as figures of reference.

A good family integration allows to promote positive values ​​and guarantee a quality education through dedicating and having enough time and effort to carry out joint activities and promote a good relationship between family members, as well as the involvement of the family in the lives of their members. For this it is necessary that family group members share quality time, as well as that there is communication and that fears, doubts, emotions, joys and values ​​are expressed.

Another aspect that may be important is not only how the family behaves internally but also how you connect with the rest of society and the environment, including work, friends or activities of leisure.

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 relationship (if any). A good relationship is not only good to promote bonding between them but also has an effect on the rest of the family (especially children). This does not mean that a bad couple should stay together even though they do not want to do so, but it does mean that their interaction is or respectful enough so that the rest of the environment and especially the children are not harmed by it or feel guilty of its bad relationship.

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The relevance of favoring it

Family integration is not something that is carried out for its own sake. It has been shown that those families in which there are dynamics that allow this link allow the healthy evolutionary development of all its components and especially of children, who can develop strong self-esteem and a set of positive values that allow coexistence with others.

Communication is also favored and the search for and application of coherent limits is made easier, and these are also more easily understood by minors. It can also make it difficult to present antisocial values, tending to aggressiveness or the search for unequal power relations. In the same way, the possible search for ways to escape from reality (such as drugs) and a more active search for a solution to problems that arise is encouraged.

It has also been observed that the absence of good family integration favors concentration problems, less productivity, tendency to be unwell and sad, less able to cope with stressful situations or less capacity to socialization.

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What can hinder family integration?

As we have said, maintaining family integration is very important to achieve generate a positive environment and climate among family members and that this develops normally. But the truth is that there are a large number of factors that can harm such integration.

One of them and probably the most common is the difficulty in reconciling family and work, especially if the hours or type of employment means that the minors spend a lot of time alone or that one of the parents barely spends time with they. In this sense, it is advisable to find moments to spend together and intervene through games and various activities.

The existence of inequalities in couple relationships, underestimation of the needs of any of the members of the family environment or the presence of problems such as crime, substance addiction or domestic violence are also the cause of disintegration problems family, also generating a negative model for the development of the minor.

Situations of continued unemployment, social exclusion and / or extreme poverty can also create difficulties in maintaining such integration. Another possible difficulty of special importance is the lack of perception of the needs of family members, both at the level of the couple and as children. It could be seen for example in some children with special educational needs, as could be the case of minors with intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy or mental disorders.

If the presence of difficulties in maintaining a normative union and bond is detected, it may be useful to go to some type of family therapy, mediation or family counseling in order to find solutions to problems that may arise. In this case, you can turn to family members, such as grandparents, or professional caregivers, but in this sense it is done the development of social policies by the administration and the business sector is necessary to allow a real conciliation.

Bibliographic references:

  • Castro, R.J., Arias, W.L., Domínguez, S., Masías, M.A., Solange, X., Canales, F. and Flores, A. (2013). Family integration and socioeconomic variables in metropolitan Arequipa. Research Journal (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 familsm, family integration and kinship orientation. Marriage and Family Living, 24 (1): 25-30.

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