How To Have A Successful Family
Do you feel disconnected from your partner or your children? If you do, you’re not alone. Relationships take work and many times they are more strained when there are children involved and our different views on parenting are revealed. We’ve become a society of disconnection.
We hear in the news stories of children and youth rebelling in a way that shows no regard for society, their parents or even themselves. A peer culture has taken over and parents are struggling to regain control.
It seems as though children aren’t the same as we remember being. For me, that is certainly the case. It seems that the youth of today are less innocent, less afraid of getting into trouble and appear bored when away from their friends or technology.
Parenting, as well, appears to have changed. Parents seem or act as confident as our parents were and many times we think we’re doing a terrible job. We love our children just the same, but we seem to be afraid of alienating them so we become their friends instead of their parents.
In a blended family parenting becomes even more challenging and stressful. Some parents want to be the “favourite” so our demands or expectations of children are lower, which creates two different sets of rules for children to follow depending on which household they happen to be in. Now a days it’s more common for both parents to work and therefore less time is devoted to our partners and children.
It’s ironic that we live in a time when so much more is known about relationships and child development than ever before, but we seem to have more problems than ever before. Why? Because we’ve lost the attachment relationship with our children and have given it over to their peers.
It’s never too late to reconnect because the very essence of a child has not changed. They have not become less dependent or more resistant despite what we see and hear. What has changed is the culture or the world, if you will, in which we raise our children. The parent/child attachment does not receive the support it deserves once our children begin school, make friends and move through life. We are looked at as overprotective parents and told to go against our instincts.
It always amazes me when I hear a parent, quite proudly, tell me about all the activities their child/children are involved in. Sometimes as many as four or five. Between school, playdates, after school activities, television and video games, when do parents and children spend time together? No wonder children grow up more attached to their friends than their families.
It’s time to reconnect and return to the basic values of what family is, no matter our circumstances. How do we do that? Well, we can begin by cutting back on the extracurricular activities our children participate in and spend the time with them. Plan more time together as a family and participate with them in the activities that interest them. If at all possible, find a way to cut back on work hours. I remember the days when my mom was home when I got home from school.
Just as important if not more so, is the relationship between the parents. Do we make it a priority to set aside quality time for ourselves? If not, we need to plan an evening out and do it regularly. The key to reconnecting is to begin simply by spending time together. We need to sit down and figure out how many hours we spend with our partner and our children. We all need to make the effort.
~ Rebuild ~
Once we begin to make the effort to spend time together, it’s time to build or rebuild the foundation. A strong foundation can remain strong in the face of any challenge. The same is true for a blended family despite the unique challenges they are faced with.
As the saying goes, you cannot change someone else, you can only change yourself. We must be aware of how we react to people and situations. This is how we begin to build the foundation. Taking a really good look at our role within the family dynamic is a good place to start. What do we like and don’t like about it? We begin to heal past hurts or resentments so we can move forward with a clean slate so to speak. If there have been things said or done that were hurtful it’s essential to take responsibility for it. Do we show appreciation towards the actions of others regardless of whether it is shown towards ourselves? When we come from a place of appreciation and gratitude it causes others to begin the shift as well. It’s a form of cause and effect. People treat us in a certain way out of reaction. Do we cause a good reaction or an unpleasant reaction? It’s importat to really think about it and be honest with ourselves. What could we contribute to the building of a solid foundation?
Something I have found that works extremely well among families is to sit down together and discuss the various needs of the family and from that create a “Family Mission Statement”. List the things that are important to each individual as well as the goals of the family. Make a final copy, frame it even and hang it where everyone can see it as a reminder everyday.
~ Refocus ~
In today’s world people are too busy and forget to take the time to focus on the things that are really important, such as family. We have good intentions, but intention is not enough because, if it was, then there would be no problems to work on. Action must follow intention. My first question is always, “why are you so busy?”. Everyone is busy, but we must look at the reasons why and identify the things that are in our control. When there are too many expectations of our time, it’s easy to lose sight of what really is important and what is suffering in the process.
There are two things that can help you to refocus: take a look at your schedule and your obligations, make a list and prioritize. If you need to schedule family time or couples time in your daily planner then do it. This is action following intention. We all intend to do things but rarely take action on them. Don’t blame it on everything else. We all have the choice, so decide.
Once we focus on what it is we want to accomplish regarding our family and start taking action on it, it takes on energy and momentum builds and it becomes a priority to everyone involved. The rewards we receive will always be worth the effort.
Line Brunet Life & Family Empowerment Coach with training as a Master Spirit Life Coach, Writer, Producer and Host of “Family Focus” on BlogTalkRadio… (Bio)