Learning how to respect your siblings and your parents is an essential part of growing up with your family. From very early on we are taught to listen to our parents, play nice with our siblings, and to try and get along. Respect within a family is easy to understand in this sense, but since I moved out to college, I don’t really live a traditional family life anymore. I only see my family for the holidays and chat with them via texts and phone calls, so for most of the year, it is just me. I still always feel the full support of my family no matter the distance or frequency of our visits, but I have been learning to see myself, in a small way, as a family of my owna family of one. Maybe this sounds lonely, but I don’t mean it that way. Seeing myself in this independent light has actually taught me a lot about myself and having respect for the family.
It’s easy when you are on your own to say that sitting down for a good meal isn’t important, that you don’t need to take the time to catch up on things, or that you need to evaluate how you are doing mentally, physically, spiritually, socially, etc. Recently, I have been thinking about the things that I did with my family and about the things that I want to do with a family of my own one day. I have realized, why shouldn’t I start doing those things now? This time that I am spending learning how to respect myself as an individual family will be immensely helpful to me when I do one day have a husband and childrena little family of my own.
I am really looking forward to the day when I have a family of my own, and I know it will be important once I have this family to carry over the same values of respecting each other and respecting yourself that I grew up with and that I continue to cultivate now. I figure, the more time I spend learning how to respect myself, the easier it will be to one day respect my husband and our children and the easier it will be for me to ask for respect from them.
So whether you are living with you family in a traditional sense, are newly married and it is just you and your husband, or you are a family of one like me, it is important to remember to have respect for that family and make sure that it is growing stronger daily.
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Danielle Cronquist is the Senior Blog Editor for BYU Stance for the Family. Check them out on Twitter @StanceBYU, on Facebook and online at stanceforthefamily.byu.edu.