Looking to our past for context - Our upbringing defines the person we are and how we connect and develop.
Awareness of vastly different dynamics - It takes constant contact and effort to sustain familial relationships optimally. A lack of contact changes everything.
Attachment types - For the closely attached, distance can be painful, for the distant, distance can be fatal. Distance will often strain relationships and magnify their problems.
Shifting landscapes - What we come back to may seem similar but the clock was still ticking whilst you were away. Often, landscapes have shifted drastically and a lack of appreciation of this can leave us tactless and prone to stirring conflict.
Show that you care - The times we have together are fewer and hence more important. Opportunities not taken to show that you care represent much greater losses.
Managing conflict and fleeing to independence - Leaving things on a bad foot can leave a sour tone festering for a long time. We don't get to choose our family and we can't turn off our commitment to them. This often means the only option we have is to bite our tongue and pull together because we don't want to be spending the next 60 years pulling in opposite directions.
Some problems are too big to be dealt with over an Easter break or a summer - Leaving them till another chapter in your life seems like the only feasible option, but it certainly doesn't come without consequence.
Support networks - Our family can be our most robust support network, but that mandates keeping them in touching distance and taking them along for the ride. For many, this proves more difficult at university which is why our approach to doing so needs to be more intentional.
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