We all have a family of origin. The level of importance we place on “family” will depend greatly on the experiences in our own early years. It is only when we get involved in a significant intimate relationship that we really come face to face with the values we were raised with and begin to decide what we want to bring into our family of choice. If family meals were something that we valued as we grew up, we will be likely to want to instill this in our family, equally if physical punishment or shaming was our frequent experience in our formative years, we may find ourselves doing the same thing, unless we have made a conscious choice to learn a different way of being.
Our friends can also strongly influence our behaviour throughout our adolescence and young adult years, so as parents, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are sharing the values we count as important with our children, so that they are able to choose their friends with whom they share a kindred spirit and have a mutually beneficially friendship. Sometimes a friend is closer than our own siblings, and through our friendships we stretch our world of understanding and imagination and sense of safety