There's no doubt that money is a necessity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that the average yearly expenses that two-parent households spend on their children reaches between $8,990 and $25,160, depending on income level. Although money is a must when it comes to providing adequate housing, food, clothing and education, the family relationship is just as essential -- if not more -- than the almighty dollar.
While you might just think of a caring family relationship as benefiting your emotional state or mental well-being, experts at Harvard University note that strong familial social ties can actually improve your physical health. Feeling connected to your family can help to ease stress, causing better physical functioning. Given the health benefits that family may bring, having a positive relationship, communicating with your parents and siblings and creating social types of bonds is priceless and does more for your physical self than simply having money in the bank.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics -- on its HealthyChildren.org website -- family involves a sense of reciprocity, in which there is a loving sense of give and take. When your boyfriend breaks your heart, your BFF ditches you for a new group of friends or you are feeling a pinch of loneliness when your social circle splits up to go away to college or take jobs in other towns, your family can provide the emotional support that money can't buy. Although you need money to get by, your checkbook won't give you a reassuring hug when you're down like mom does or the empathetic pep talk that your older sister will.
Highs and Lows
Whether you just scored a big raise at your first "real" job or your savings balance is surpassing your goals, money is never a constant. Just because you're raking in the big bucks now doesn't mean that your financial situation is always on the rise. While your impressive bank balance may make your temporally happy, it isn't a guarantee in the same way that your family's love is. A bad investment, a job loss or improper spending can take your cash stash from high to low. Unlike your money, your mom, dad, brother or sister isn't as likely to instantly vanish from your life. Although your financial life may fluctuate, your family's love for you is always there -- even when the times get tough.
One of the primary functions of family, other than providing support, is to help each other learn and grow. Although money can buy you a college education or continuing ed classes, it can't teach you the values and beliefs that you need to grow into a responsible adult in the same way that your family can. Family provides guidance when it comes to morals, social behaviors and an internal code of conduct that paid education simply can't.
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