By their very nature, multi-generational and family relationships are constantly evolving as we grow and develop new ways of communicating with one another. Whether you’re a new parent, an older parent, a growing child, an adult child or a grandparent, how you relate to your family members rarely stays the same. Through marriage, divorce, birth and death, family relationships develop layers of complexity that at the best of times can help family members grow closer together, and at the worst of times can cause family members to grow apart. While there is no right answer for how family members should interact with one another, there are often underlying issues – some that hinder and some that help – our ability to understand and connect with our family members. Emphasizing and cultivating healthy behaviors, while unlocking and reframing unhealthy feelings, will help us improve our family relationships.
As the parent of a growing child, are you:
Concerned about how much anxiety your child is experiencing?
Having trouble letting go and negotiating how to give your child more independence and responsibility?
Uncertain about your child’s future, especially if your child has special needs?
As the parent of an adult child, are you:
Feeling disappointed, worried and maybe even angry at how your child is handling certain aspects of adult life?
Frustrated that conversations with your adult child are not having the desired effect; that walls go up and you don’t know how to bring them down?
Feeling pained by the gap of misunderstanding, hurt, anger and distance?
Trying to make sense of how to be supportive without enabling your adult child to remain dependent?
As an adult child, do you:
Wish your parents would appreciate and respect your point of view and give you space to learn from your own experiences?
Struggle with what to say and what not to say, or with setting boundaries with your parents?
Harbor resentment toward your parent(s) from unfinished childhood issues?
As an adult with elderly parents, are you:
Feeling helpless when your parents refuse to accept their limitations and your help?
Feeling overwhelmed by and guilty with by your dependent elderly parents’ needs and demands?
Finding it difficult to maintain a balance between meeting their needs and your own?
As an in-law and/or grandparent, are you:
Having negative reactions that cause your own adult child to feel stuck in the middle between you and his/her spouse?
Feeling judgmental about how your child is parenting your grandchildren?
Experiencing competition with your in-laws for the attention of your adult child’s family?
Make the NECESSARY Choice to do your part in making a change for the better - to regain positive connections and open communication
Working together, we can:
Discover how to give your growing child more room for healthy negotiating, while making some compromises so that you can both be comfortable with more autonomy
Improve how you communicate so that the people who matter to you will listen better
Learn how to share your feelings without criticizing or overwhelming the other person
Bring curiosity and an open heart to what others in your family are experiencing. This leads to win-win conversations where every family member feels heard and appreciated
Discover what the most important priorities are and what you can let go of
Master the skill of saying “no,” while acknowledging how it affects the other person so that you can set boundaries and still be connected
Create the space where connection and individuality co-exist
Bring more joy and authenticity to your family time
Family is so important – when it’s stressful, it’s really stressful, and when it’s good, it’s sweet and comforting. Working on your family life is one of the best investments of your time and energy as these relationships play a tremendous part in how happy and fulfilled you feel with your life.