Families take many different shapes and forms. There is no one size fits all for what makes a family. Families exist across the globe, in every culture, country and community. While so much is different across the globe, the concept of family is a unifying factor for all humanity. International Family Day is celebrated around the world on May 15. It stands as a way to recognize the unique benefits of the family unit to us all.
What is the history of International Family Day?
During the 1980s, the United Nations turned a spotlight onto the functionality of families. Recognizing that society is dependent upon the health of family units, the UN explored ways in which to support families across the globe. How can families thrive? What do they need? What problems and challenges do families face? Taking these major questions into account, the UN began to organize activities, programs and workshops aimed at supporting families. The crux of this decision was to encourage increased knowledge regarding the impact of economic, social and demographic effects on families. Thus, in 1993, the United Nations officially declared May 15 as International Family Day.
International Family Day Theme 2022
Each year, International Family Day has a theme. The theme reflects the most crucial needs of the family for the year. Sometimes, this is based on what has occurred in the previous year or what is projected to impact families the most in the coming year. This year, for 2022, the theme is “Families and Urbanization“. Urbanization is a key element to the growth of society and communities. It is almost always tied to economic success. The aim with this year’s International Family Day theme is to focus on the family amidst the public policies being made.
What is family?
International Family Day spotlights all the varying types and degrees of families. My family (which is pictured above), your family and every family every where. Some families are made up of those who share blood and DNA and some families are formed, or chosen. Whatever you consider family, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Family is what you make it to be!
Michael J. Fox said, “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” I love this and can connect with it wholeheartedly. Can you? The majority of humans are not meant to be alone. We crave love and companionship. Humans need support and consistency. History has shown us that the family unit’s existence allows us to thrive, at the very least to preserve the continuity of humanity. Since the dawn of time, the first humans formed families. Families are certainly different than they were when the first human ancestors walked the earth, but the concept remains the same.
Parents bring children into the world and always have. There is research on the impact of parents and family units on children. The most important ingredients are love, stability and support, no matter what the family looks like. International Family Day recognizes all the unique qualities families exhibit and celebrates them equally. What to say for families who aren’t connected to one another by blood? How did you come to be such a family? No matter what brought you together, there is love, familiarity and support.
I’ve spent some time in other blogs writing about traditions and exploring ideas in which we can celebrate our families and special events. The consistency of annual events such as birthdays, holidays and unique family interests allows for families to spend time together as a unit connecting. Consider what your family does that brings them together. Do you throw weekend barbecues? Take family vacations including extended families and friends? What do you look forward to doing together? Perhaps you might consider establishing some new family traditions as well. I think that this is good advice for families who are still welcoming in new members, young families, aging families. Traditions can certainly evolve and change over time! Consider including new people in your traditions and making them feel welcome.
Making new memories
I’ve never personally celebrated International Family Day with my family, but there’s always a first time for everything! Think about the traditions your family holds dear and take this time to create something new. While the official date of May 15 has passed, there is still plenty of opportunity to celebrate International Family Day! The weather this weekend looks promising. Warm and sunny.. Maybe a little rain tomorrow morning, but it otherwise looks nice and clear out! What could your family do together? Maybe go see a new movie. Have a picnic. Take a hike. Take a day trip somewhere new. Maybe visit your favorite restaurant or order in some family favorite food. Another idea is to take International Family Day as a day you traditionally do something new! I actually love that idea.
A variety of sources indicate that the average amount of time that families spend together is roughly around 37 minutes per day. In a 24 hour period, that’s not really a ton of time. We know, however, how long the days are between work, school, commuting and errands. Sports practice, homework and other obligations eat up our time as well. Not to mention sleep. What is sleep, you ask? Many of us aren’t getting enough, but that’s an entirely different blog post topic. I can talk about being tired til the cows come home.
Extreme edition…or addition?
If you want to do something REALLY crazy with your family… GET A PUPPY! We did this very thing last weekend. “What were we thinking?” I don’t know, but no regrets. She is a lovely and sweet little girl thought. I love that she is making her own way and finding her own place within our family. It has definitely changed our routines and forced us to make some adjustments in our home- closing doors, gates, picking thing sup and putting things away… just like bringing a new baby home!
While getting a new puppy is perhaps an extreme way to bring about family bonding, there certainly are many alternatives to making new memories. We would love to know what your family is up to currently! What are your weekend plans? Short term plans? Long term plans? Drop us a note in the comments to let us know what you’re up to! Can’t wait to hear from you. Happy International Family Day, MTTES fam!
Courtney is an MTT tutor, academic coach, and blog contributor for MTTES. If you check out our FB and Instagram pages, you might see her giving a storytime with her son Jack through the company’s Facebook Live service. Courtney’s love of the English language, learning, and creative writing inspired her to contribute relevant content to teachers, tutors, parents, and homeschoolers seeking support across an array of trending topics. She and her teacher husband have two small children and reside in Baltimore, MD with their dog Lottie May.