My family doesn’t eat together 95% of the time. My dad’s a cab driver who takes the night shift, and my mum, brother and I each have our own bunch of friends with whom we’d eat with at least 3 days out of our 5-day work week. Do I find that weird? Yes, sometimes I do! But it’s taught me to cherish our family dinners even more. The uniqueness of our families forms an integral part of who we make ourselves out to be. So if you find that your family is unconventional or maybe even a little bit dysfunctional, consider the positives instead!
- Draw strength from your weird family
When you hear of children who grew up moving from shelter to shelter, with no proper home to live in, you might pity them and wonder if they’ll amount to much. There have been (and are) children who do well in school despite the many shifts in living environment. In fact, children who come from such environments tend be more resilient than their peers. Look at your situation - what can you draw from it? Does it keep you on your toes? If so, your strength may be your ability to think really quickly on your feet!
- You may be less judgemental
I grew up around friends of the family from different backgrounds, ages, and races. Before the concept of stereotypes became familiar to me, I learnt to love and accept each and every one of them for the person that they are. On a more serious note, if you grew up with family members who are alcoholics, for example, you may see it more as an illness instead of a choice. Not everyone is able to function in a conventional capacity and you know that better than most, having experienced it first-hand. This will make you more accepting and kinder towards people with similar problems. You learn to condemn less and empathise more.
- Uncertainty? No problem!
If your household is filled with unpredictable family members, you may find yourself well-accustomed to handling change. A common example is a parent who holds a position in an organisation which requires him/her to move from country to country every other year; you may find yourself becoming extremely adaptable in different situations and environments as a result. After all, life itself is unpredictable! And hey, you’re better equipped to handle that thanks to your “weird” family!
No family is perfect. Like fingerprints, each family comes packaged in a unique way along with their own issues. Draw strength from yours instead of looking at them as irregularities. It is important to know that however weird or difficult a family situation you may find yourself in, you are independent and strong enough to decide where you want to go with your life's story. The beauty is that there is no right or wrong to how your journey should unfold - it’s entirely up to you!