Monthly Archives: August 2017

Family Relationships

The family as a social unit has undoubtedly been on the decline in the past few decades. The increasing number of single parent households, increased divorce rates, and the growing gap between generations has led the family to move to the periphery of an individual’s social life, rather than its center. Truth is, today, you will have to actually work together and work quite hard to build strong, healthy family relationships.

Like any other relationship, families are built on trust. Children, teenagers and adolescents will often hide things from their parents for fear of punishment. This behavior, if encouraged, will eventually lead to their estrangement and lack of trust. It is the responsibility of the parents, therefore, to create an air of openness in the family. Kids in the family should never feel scared of sharing things with parents. As a parent, you will have to punish kids for straying out of line, but take care to not do so in a fashion that would make your kids not trust you with their secrets again.

Trust is directly tied to sharing – the crucial part of family relationships that just seems to be missing these days. All members are usually involved in their own lives, zoned out before TV or computer screens, or in their own social lives. There is too little of ‘family time’ and too much of ‘me time’. Group activities such as dinner, a movie night, a family vacation, therefore, have to be promoted to encourage sharing.

Respect (or the lack of it) is another reason why family relationships sometimes go sour. You should draw a firm line beyond which your kids shouldn’t go, and you should draw this line as early as possible. While a family should be open, there must be some sense of hierarchy too. Teach your kids to respect their elders, no matter their flaws, and teach the elders to love the kids likewise. A family built on trust, love, and respect will always maintain strong bonds.

Finally, parents must try and foster strong relations between siblings. Too often, siblings don’t get along with each other, largely due to the parents lack of intervention. Elder siblings must be taught to care for and love their younger brothers/sisters, and the younger siblings must be given a lesson in respecting their elder brothers/sisters. Only when the siblings get along will you build a strong family.

Success in a Family Business

How do you keep a family business together for multiple generations? There is no magic formula to guarantee that this can happen, but you can increase the likelihood that future members of your family will want to join your business by building a solid foundation based on seven characteristics:

Trust

Trust is a key to any successful relationship be it a business, family, or friendship. You must trust that those you work with will do the jobs they are assigned and that their focus is on the success of the organization. Those who see that you place your complete trust in will in turn develop feelings of trust for you and act accordingly.

Mutual Respect

In every relationship there must be mutual respect between the parties involved. When one party feels that they are better, or more important than others, they are taking focus away from the partnerships that can build mutually satisfying relationships. Families are about recognizing each other’s strengths and building upon those of each other; it also involves recognizing each other’s weaknesses and helping to overcome them or build them into strengths. This cannot be done when airs of superiority are presented among family members.

Loyalty

Loyalty is a character trait that is sadly lacking in the business world today; especially concerning is the increasing lack of loyalty among family members. Loyalty among family is more than key to its survival, it is an absolute necessity. Evidenced loyalty will provide family members with the confidence they need to trust each member of the family to do the right thing.

Love

This may seem overly trite, but there must be love between family members. You cannot succeed when those you are dependent on for your success are not close to your heart. If your goal is to keep your business within the family and build it for the benefit of future generations, you must honestly, without ulterior motives, love your family; not just those who are participating in the business, but all members. Love among members of the family will build the loyalty, mutual respect, and trust that are needed to make your business a success.

Service

Service to your customers and clients has always been a topic of discussion among successful organizations. The personal touch of offering clients service above and beyond what they might expect from an impersonal warehouse or department store type business will build a loyal customer base for every organization. In the family business another dynamic comes into play: Service to each other. You are not only striving to serve your customers, but you must serve one another. Family business is about building relationships of service to each other in order to make your business truly work as team and a family unit.

Flexibility

In any business, flexibility is key to survival and profit. It may even be more important in family businesses. As family members come and go, over the years and generations, each will bring different areas of expertise and interest. You must be able to adapt how structure your business, what products you create or offer, and how you actually conduct your business. Allowing family members the freedom and the excitement to bring their own personalities into the business may create a bond between them and the business that will become contagious to others within the organization, establishing a long lasting culture of innovation and flexibility.

Separation

Even though you are involved in a family business, there must be some separation between your business and family relationships. You must be able to separate the events that occur at work and those at home. Though difficult as it may be for families who are involved in a business together, their must be time to set aside the concerns of work and solely focus on building your family relationships. You cannot completely separate the family and the business because that is part of the dynamics that may make it succeed, but as much as possible you need to realize there are differences and a time and place for everything. One especially challenging part of this is when your business happens to be in your home. Having in effect a 24 hour per day business at home will make it difficult to keep the business and family separate. One way is to maintain a separate room in the home where you conduct your business. Once you leave the room, it is just as if you have left your office.

Building a successful multi-generational family business is a daunting task. Building a foundation from the above characteristics will go along way is helping achieve that goal.

Therapy for Happy Families

What is family therapy?

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that aims at solving family issues through family counseling. In a family therapy treatment multiple or all family members are involved as this technique considers family as one unit. The emphasis is on the members who are directly related to the problem. Issues like marriage, divorce, children-parent relationships, family conflicts, depression, addictions and similar family issues are generally handled by family therapists. The focus of family therapy is on family relationships and family interaction. Instead of pin pointing the cause family therapists work on solving the issue by emphasizing on the strengths of the family unit.

What does a family therapist do?

Family therapy sessions have helped hundreds of families live together happily and peacefully. A family therapist informs the family members about the family as a unit and the importance of each member performing his/her roles effectively. A family therapist helps the family members to resolve conflicts through effective communication minimizing the gaps. Family members are made to realize the significance of family as a unit. Their behaviors are analyzed and if they need to change their conduct they are explained why and how. Family therapy is a very effective technique to create happy families.

To resolve issues family therapists conduct regular sessions after intervals. They ask the family members to do certain activities or behave in a particular way to resolve issues and to attain the objectives of family therapy sessions. Family therapy works best when people involved understand its importance, are convinced, and willing to participate to resolve issues.

In what areas does family therapy help?

Family therapy for parent-child conflict: Parent-child relational problems are very common and can arise due to indifferent attitude of parents or child, bad company, less time for children, disagreement on various issues, etc. Family therapists work towards achieving a better understanding to resolve conflicts. Family therapy can also help family members solve on-going issues in family life, like problems at work, raising children, social relationships and relationships between family members.

Family therapy for Learning Disabilities: Family therapy can treat children with learning disability (USA) or development disability (UK). Learning disability refers to low general intelligence of the person in comparison to others. Family therapy can develop cognitive-social-emotional competencies in young minds and guide children to control their emotions and enhance their performance.

Family therapy for Marital Issues and Divorce: Family therapy can transform relationships gone sour into happy relationship through therapy session for couples. Family therapists educate both members about handling conflicting situations tactfully. They also try to resolve issues that can lead to happy relationship through in-depth discussions and change in attitude. They encourage the couple to make a new start.

Family therapy for Chronic Medical Illness: Family therapy also works well in case a family member is suffering from chronic illnesses like AIDS, which can cause mental trauma to the whole family. Family therapy discussion sessions enable families to handle this difficult situation and help the patient overcome illness with a positive attitude.

Building Relationships That Last

As I have discussed, life can be like a puzzle, with the four corner pieces in place, the rest is easier to put together. This is a deeper look into the fourth corner, your relationship health. The first corner being your physical health, second is mental health and third is spiritual health.

We are designed to build relationships. Family can be used as an example of a relationship. Although, family is a relative term, it can be used to describe numerous kinds of relationships in your life.

There could be people you care about, and who you are in relationship with, that are not blood relatives. However, because of time spent together building and growing, you are a “family” of sorts. You may also have blood-relatives who have not spent time in your life and although you are related, they may not feel like family.

Family comes from a close nurturing relationship. There is a family you come from, and families you build. Many are lucky enough to have other groups that are considered “family” to nurture them. These kinds of non-traditional relationships are very valuable, but often overlooked.

Research has shown that people who engage in regular social interaction or who have close friendships live longer and are happier. What a surprise! That is what we were designed for. The result of nurturing friendships and family will result in fulfillment and satisfaction.

It is important to be open and sensitive to the needs of others. When feeling low or discouraged, you need only to look outside yourself and find someone else to lift up. Give, Give, Give! Your money, your talent, your time, your encouragement and your love. Whatever you give away in good will, you will receive more in return.

Do more than people ask of you. Look for ways you can be helpful and don’t wait to be asked. Practice asking people about their life, their ideas and their family and listen, listen, listen. Make eye contact and put to memory what people tell you.

Focus only on the event you have at hand and decrease multitasking. Be aware of being too wired to technology. Sometimes it is valuable to turn off the cell phone or computer and engage fully in the task at hand.

Give your time to the things you believe in. Even when the tasks seem mundane, give your full attention to it. Consider that you will reap what you sow, when it comes to your attitude about this.

We are often unable to fix our own problems. But we can be used to help others fix theirs. In this way you fulfill the relationship circle. If you could always fix your own problems you would not need to lean on or build relationships with other people. Zig Zigler said, “You can have anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

This kind of thinking will help you develop depth of character. By doing so, your future will become more prosperous and fulfilling. During this process, be cautious not to dwell on the past or anticipate the future at the expense of the present.

You need to value the journey and see the rewards that come from building a strong foundation. Much of your direction is determined from your attitude. A good attitude is a product of good thinking. “Where the mind goes, the man follows.”

Watch what you are thinking. Don’t just think any thought that falls into your head. Use discipline to keep your mind positive and pure. Whether conscious or not, what you have on your mind will manifest itself in your words and actions.

Just as they say “garbage in, garbage out” it is also “goodness in, and goodness out”. So what does this mean in regards to building your foundation of wellness? It means everything. Your attitude will affect the opportunities that will shape your future. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right!”

Building a strong network of relationships is just one piece of the puzzle. Embrace each piece in your journey with enthusiasm and an outlook of optimism. Believe that when the four corner pieces are firmly in place, you will have created a healthy frame for a lifetime of wellness.

“Wellness Matters” Article Series by Lisa Schilling RN, CPT

Speaker, Writer, Wellness Coach & Consultant

Lisa Schilling is the author of “The Get REAL Guide to Health and Fitness-FIVE STEPS to Create Your Own Personal Wellness Plan” She is juggles life as a doting wife and the mother of three boys, who keep her feet firmly planted on the ground!