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happy familySome folks think that the nuclear family was named after the bomb of the same name, but the reality is that the family unit forms the nucleus — the center — of most societies.

Most family groups are connected by a genetic heritage, but it takes a bit of work to create other bonds.

Many families deal with sibling rivalry. Sharing the limited resources of the parents' attention as well as toys, friends and space — children often need help sorting through all of the emotional ups and downs this can cause. Introducing step-siblings adds a whole new dimension to the emotional mix.

Couples trying to nurture an intimate relationship amid the stress of financial issues and different personality styles find peaks and valleys that often causes instability in the home.

Parenting, of course, makes for a new set of constantly changing needs that have to be met. If all of that is managed well, the children grow and leave the nest... and then there is empty nest syndrome, mid-life crisis and adapting to growing older together.

Today, gay marriage has taken the modern family into whole territory, but same-sex couples report the same obstacles and rewards in adopting children or maintaining close family relationships as any traditional family.

As amazing as it may be, many families do get through all of this and hold on to healthy, warm relationships that are strengthened by challenges. It isn't easy, but it is possible. In the best cases, the support and caring that the family provides outweighs all of the negatives.

Finding ways to help your family work through problems to reach a positive outcome is complicated. Each person brings an individual point of view to the table and blending everyone into one harmonious family is an ongoing process!

also see --> Marriage Counseling | Family Reunions

Early Childhood Development | Child Custody & Support


More about parenting and family relationships around the Web:

Couples, parents, siblings, stepkids, in-laws, single again... Find advice here at some of the best sites for family relationship issue discussions, forums, news, opinion and feature story articles...



AP - Family & Relationships - Find helpful features from The American Psychological Association on family relationship issues including teens and stress, step families, communication tips, anger management, and lots more. - Focus on couples from relationship expert Larry James.

Whole Family - Family issues for all ages are covered here. Real families - real issues.

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