Category Archives: Relationship

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!

Parenting Behavior Used to Sever the Parent-Child Relationship

When I first married, I didn’t realize there was a 50 percent chance that my marriage would end in divorce. During our marriage, we had a child and again, I didn’t realize that there was a one in six chance my divorce would turn out to be “high conflict,” and that my child would be used by an angry and vindictive ex to avenge the failure of our marriage. Over the years since my divorce, the mother’s behavior has only intensified. Eventually, I came to learn the meaning of terms such as Parental Alienation (PA), Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), and Hostile Aggressive Parenting (HAP), and experienced how easily the family court system can be manipulated by false allegations.

In 1985, Dr. Richard Garner, a forensic psychiatrist, introduced the concept of PAS in an article, “Recent Trends in Divorce and Custody Litigation,” in which he defined PAS as “a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of programming (brainwashing) by the other parent and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent.” Several years later, Ira Daniel Turkat introduced “Divorce-Related Malicious Mother Syndrome.” Behaviors associated with both syndromes are relatively similar, encompassing hostile aggressive parenting behavior in an attempt to alienate the child from the other parent. However, the latter focuses on the mother’s behavior whereas PAS can relate to both the mother and the father. Presently, PA or PAS are the common terms used to define the practice of attempting to alienate a child or children from a parent, regardless of gender.

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) official statement on PAS notes “the lack of data to support so-called parental alienation syndrome and raises concern about the term’s use.” However, the APA states it has “no official position on the purported syndrome.” Advocates against PAS believe it is a form of psychological child abuse, and the APA’s refusal to address PAS leaves “targeted parents” lacking needed resources to fight the problem. At the same time, there are those who discount the validity of PAS and believe it is used as an excuse by abusive parents during custody challenges to explain “the animosity of their child or children toward them.” In certain cases, that may very well be true.

In his article, “New Definition of Parental Alienation: What is the Difference Between Parental Alienation (PA) and Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?” Dr. Douglas Darnall focuses on the behavior and defines “parental alienation (PA), rather than PAS, as any constellation of behaviors, whether conscious or unconscious, that could evoke a disturbance in the relationship between a child and the other parent.” Simply put, PA is teaching the child to hate the other parent, leading to estrangement from the parent. By concentrating on the behavior, Dr. Darnall presents a more pragmatic approach to acceptance of PA by attorneys, therapist and family courts.

The tactics or tools that parents use to alienate a child range from simple badmouthing the other parent in front of the child; encouraging others to do likewise, until the child is bombarded with negative remarks on a daily basis; to reporting accusations of abuse or neglect to child protective services or family court. This behavior is known as Hostile Aggressive Parenting. One tactic that author John T. Steinbeck describes in Brainwashing Children is that some “hostile parents who remarry will have the child or children call the stepfather, ‘daddy,’ as a technique used to devalue the biological parent.” Parental Alienation Syndrome is a condition. Hostile Aggressive Parenting is the behavior.

Hostile aggressive parents are unable to move on. They are stuck in the past and focused on avenging the failure of their marriage and the control they had during the marriage. They manipulate the family court and child protective services in an attempt to continue control over their ex-spouse. They accept no responsibility for their actions, blame everyone, and place themselves above the child’s own interest. Therapist turned family law attorney Bill Eddy notes in his article “Personality Disorders and False Allegations in Family Court” that there is a “prevalence of personality disorders in high conflict divorce and custody cases in which false allegations are used.” The most prevalent of these is Borderline Personality Disorder, followed by Narcissistic Personality, and Anti-Social Personality Disorder. This accounts for the lack of empathy toward the child’s emotional state, and the ability to manipulate family court and child protective services so easily. Parents with anti-social personality disorders will play the “victim.” They are experts at manipulating and lying because they actually believe their lies to justify what they are doing.

Not all children can be taught to hate. Some have a very strong bond with the parent. Steinbeck also notes that in certain cases the “alienating parent feels that the other parent has a strong, highly functional relationship with the child or children and is irrationally worried that this positive relationship will somehow affect their relationship with the child.” A child old enough to decide with whom he or she wishes to live with may result in a reversal of financial obligations, as the non-custodial parent is obligated to pay child support and provide medical coverage for the child. HAP may simply be financially motivated. Regardless of the motives, attempting to alienate a child from a parent using hostile aggressive parenting or parental alienation tactics is psychological child abuse.

It is much easier to alienate a child when the child is separated from the parent. False allegations to family court of abuse or neglect will severely limit the relationship between the parent and child and the limited time spent will be under supervision. The Standard Divorce Decree has already reduced the non-custodial parent to a visitor in the child or children’s lives by a visitation schedule of the first, third, and fifth weekends of the month. Now the parent is limited to a “supervised” visitation schedule of three or four hours per month. Supervised visitation programs are just as easily manipulated as family court, e.g., parents simply need to call in at the last minute to seek rescheduling.

Family court will always side with the allegations and the court moves very slowly. Depending on the skill of an attorney, this period of separation could last for months. This gives the “targeting parent” additional time to teach the child to hate the “targeted parent,” as well as draining the “targeted parent’s” financial resources.

An attorney once told me that “the only place people lie more than in family court is at a bar.” Family court is plagued by false allegations simply because they are such an effective tool to quickly sever the parent-child relationship. Family court does not prosecute against false allegations, which is why false allegations have proliferated. Allegations do not need to be specific. Some attorneys advise clients to keep the allegations vague so as not to chance involving investigative agencies such as child protective services, as their reports carry so much weight with the court. An allegation to family court may be as vague as “The father is a danger to the child.” This is enough for the family court to order visitations withheld or supervised, but not specific enough to involve child protective services.

Family court is a guilt-by-accusation system. Once accused, it is the responsibility of the accused to prove the allegations false. The accused parent will most likely be court-ordered to supervised visitations with the child or children, as well as complete a psychological evaluation and meet with mediators and parent coordinators, all at personal cost. He or she also may pay for a forensic investigation, also referred to as a Social Study Evaluation, to prove the allegations false. The accused parent will spend thousands, or perhaps tens of thousands, of dollars proving the accusations false – and in the end, find him/herself financially drained and psychologically exhausted. An accused parent may lose a relationship with the child or children simply because they ran out of money to continue to fight. Unfortunately, this also results in a child losing a loving parent. David Levy, cofounder of the Children’s Rights Counsel and author of The Best Parent is Both Parents, stated: “President Obama talks a lot about absentee fathers who need to take responsibility. (But) he may not realize that there are millions of parents who want to be involved (in their children’s lives).” Fighting for the “child’s right to both parents” is a costly battle – both financially and psychologically. Many parents simply lose because they ran out of money.

Marriage and Relationship Problems

Couples counseling is designed to understand the behavior patters between people in a relationship to resolve problems more effectively. Couples therapy is a brief, solution-focused technique, which defines specific and attainable treatment goals, and is designed with the outcome in mind. Couples counseling will help people develop strategies for improving their relationships.

The processes of couples counseling teaches you how to take helpful risks to develop a loving relationship. Opportunities to continue personal growth occur throughout life. Individual growth leads to stable committed relationships. Couples therapy encourages emotional growth, which allows people to experience more connected feelings with one another. People develop trust when they feel safe in disclosing your deepest, most private self to their partners. The most effective way to obtain a good outcome in your relationships is to work with an experienced professional, such as a licensed marriage and family counselor.

What types of problems are treated in couples counseling?

The psychotherapy of couples counseling treats specific problems in a relationship such as poor communication, problems getting along, boundary issues with other family members such as parents or grandparents, disagreements about parenting of children, or difficulties with financial stress. Couples therapy shows people a way to live in a more loving and respectful way.

Work or career issues, financial issues, and issues with children and the extended family are the stresses that modern society place on a relationship. In couples counseling, people learn how to deal with the pressures of daily living without destroying their relationship. During the psychotherapeutic process of marriage therapy, couples learn that we are all human and have human flaws. Couples in therapy get the insight that we all have the ability to hurt each other and develop skills to prevent that hurt as much as possible. Partners in the counseling process find they have a safe place to acknowledge hurtful behaviors. People in relationships learn effective communication skills to apologize and express remorse.

How long do people stay in couples therapy?

Couples counseling is designed to address specific issues. Within 10 to 12 sessions, on average, problems will be identified and better behavioral strategies will begin to take effect. The number of sessions is tailored depending on the couple involved and their specific issues.

Often, couples desire to continue sessions with the therapist to reinforce new skills and effective strategies. They realize that cognitive tools can be learned which help produce a more successful relationship. As a couple puts what is learned in the initial sessions into practice, they become motivated to “learn more” as they see they have a more satisfying life with their partner. Often, couples begin marriage therapy in a “crisis” situation. When highly charged emotions begin to retreat, the psychotherapist and the couple can start the real work of learning and refining many skills and techniques to improve the marriage or relationship.

Why use a marriage and family therapist (MFT) for couples counseling and psychotherapy?

Marriage and Family Therapists are specially trained, licensed professionals focusing on relationships, family dynamics and psychotherapy. These professionals diagnose and treat a wide range of emotional and psychological disorders that arise between people in a relationship.

A marriage therapist is specifically trained to listen and analyze issues presented by partners in a relationship in an unbiased fashion. Friends and families of the couple are often very loving and very much want to help but their strong emotional investment with one or both partners makes them unable to understand the psychology of the relationship objectively. Even after the first session with an effective marriage therapist, it is quite common that couples will report a feeling of “hope” that they are doing something positive to help work things out in their relationship.

Will I become a better listener through couples counseling?

During couples counseling, people learn specific methods on how to listen to their partner’s needs. Active listening techniques help people develop empathy with their partner which lets them better understand their partner’s needs and improve their relationship. Relationships and marriages become stronger and more caring and loving when people learn to listen to each other.

Couples psychotherapy involves training in resolving conflicts, eliminating miscommunication, and healing painfully hurt emotions. Any relationship inevitable develops problems. Through therapy, you can to listen fully to your partner’s needs. An experienced marriage, family and couples therapist can teach the people in a relationship specific methods to improve their listening skills.

The therapist can help you stay on track when working on resolving an issue. You learn to resist “making a case” for yourself by bringing in irrelevancies that may only cause pain to the other. Couples therapy can effectively develop communication regarding a difference of opinion, which leads to a comfortable solution for both people.

How will couples counseling help me resolve the conflicts in my marriage?

First, the therapist will help create a safe, warm and trusting relationship for both partners. Next, you work with the therapist understand the nature of the conflict. Often, conflicts result when partners in a relationship differ in a goal or expectation. In couples counseling, the therapist will help you understand each other’s expectations, and help you and your partner learn new ways to communicate to resolve the conflict.

An experienced couples therapist can teach partners in a relationship skills they can use to develop strategies to improve conflict resolution that can adapt over time. People gain an increased ability to listen with understanding to the other person’s views, even though, perhaps, not agreeing on the specific issue. The marriage therapist can demonstrate effective and safe ways to express negative emotions such as hurt and anger in a non-critical and non-confrontational style. Successful conflict resolution results in partners feeling closer and more trusting with each other, strengthening the marriage.

Is couples counseling really effective?

Many studies demonstrate the effectiveness of couples counseling. The vast majority of people in couples therapy report an improvement in how they perceive themselves and their relationship.

Couples counseling is extremely effective in not only helping couples stay together. In fact, as each individual in the relationship continues to grow and maturing, they develop to more functional and positive communication and efficient conflict resolution outcomes in their lives outside of their relationship. Couples counseling, is not a passive thing “done” to a couple, but rather it is “work” done together with the psychotherapist. The counselor and the couple are in positive communion to effect positive results.

Couples therapy is an effective method to understand the behavior of the partners in a relationship and allows effective resolution of relationship problems. A couples counselor treats a variety of specific relationship problems and helps people learn to live more lovingly together. Couples therapy varies in duration, which is designed to provide enough space to address specific relationship issues. Professional marriage and family therapists are highly trained experts that can facilitate therapy for a couple in an unbiased and objective manner. People undergoing couples counseling learn specific skills to become better listeners and resolve conflicts. Overall, people find that couples therapy is effective and report an overall improvement in their well-being and in their relationships.

Family Visits and Focus on Building Strong Relationships

You love it when family members visit. If visits are regular it becomes the norm to not expect any gifts. However, when visits occur during the holidays like Independence Day or Christmas or during special occasions like a birthday or graduation material things become expected. This could be a result of family tradition or societal expectations. Family members expect toys, games, clothes and shoes, and sometimes money too. However, if the central focus of the visits is on material things members are not building strong interpersonal relationships. Families develop negative habits by comparing gifts received to those from past years or from other family members. This also involves forming an entitlement attitude where gifts become an obligation instead of being a privilege. However, by switching the focus to recreation, hobbies and events members will value you as a person and respect your time and attention. You will also notice an increase in confidence and self-esteem levels of everyone.

Test Your Own Family

To test if your family welcomes you based on your gift then at your next family visit do not carry the gifts with you. Instead you could have them brought over by a friend or shipped to arrive a few days after you get there. Then when you show up at their homes watch their faces carefully to see if they still feel great to see you or act disappointed. Some might walk away to get back to whatever activities they were engaging in. You can wait even further to see if they will ask if you brought gifts or if it becomes the center of the conversation. Later, after you have made enough observations then you can let them know that gifts are coming and then watch their expressions then.

Family Visits

Family members that visit very often are a part of everyday life. However, for persons that live far away then seeing them becomes a special event. These visits usually take place during the holidays when they can get time off from work. For e.g. some popular holidays are Christmas Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving Day. There are also special occasions when family members feel obligated to visit such as during a birthday, graduation or wedding celebrations.

Material Things

When families visit each other material things are usually a way of expressing love. However, if it becomes an expectation then the focus is on the amount of money spent instead of the time and effort that went into purchasing the gifts. Some popular examples of gifts are cameras, smartphones, sports equipment, toys, video games, jewellery. Older family members usually receive gift cards or money.

Negative Results

When the focus is on material things members use the monetary value of the gifts to grade visits. Hence, family members compare the things that they receive to those that they got in the past years. They might also compare items to those received from others or those owned by friends or neighbours. They might even develop an entitlement attitude and view these material things as an obligation. If nothing is given or they do not get what they expected then they become angry, disappointed and might even ignore members during the visit. Therefore, this causes little or no interpersonal relationships to develop. Interpersonal relationships focus on treating each person as an important member of the group, communicating with each other, having trust in each other and showing commitment to the well-being of that person. Hence, without it the family is not really bonding with each other.

Solution

In order to get each member to focus on the time and effort that it takes you to visit, then do not focus on material things. While you can choose to bring gifts occasionally practice on engaging with each other. This means participating in activities or hobbies such as playing board games, creating scrapbooks, using art and craft supplies, telling stories from your past or reading from a story book. You can also go out to the concerts, museums, parks or to sports games. This would help each other to learn and grow. Use your money, time and effort for building up talents, skills and life experiences. These would strengthen interpersonal relationships and each member would have more self-confidence and better self-esteem levels.

Strong Family Ties

Ever since life came on earth it started with coming together in company of each other. When God created Adam he also created Eve for companionship and thus a relationship started and a family was created. It is not only humans who have relationships and family but animals too are seen to have a family. Have you ever noticed male and female animals looking after their little ones and collecting food for them? A family bond started with the very begging of life on earth. A family is very crucial for a human being. A strong family bond is what we all humans want.

To have and maintain strong family ties the seniors in the family have to make extra efforts. It is very important to know what one wants in life and what the family as a whole expects from the different members. As the couple come together to start a family they should try to figure out what they want out of their family life. They should share their goals and dreams.

The problem starts from not giving time to each other due to various reasons. Couples often do not get enough time to interact with each other and know about the problems they are undergoing. The couples are so busy in their career that they do not give quality time to each other and the children. Taking out time for each other and the family is very important to keep the family ties intact. If you spend time with your family it is only then you will understand each other well and be on familiar terms with each other. It’s only then you will understand what your family expects from you.

No one can weave a family well if no attention is given to children. Children are an essential part of the family; they are the ones who require the most attention. To bring up children with complete understanding and maturity is a difficult task. You have to work hard towards your children to not let them involve into nasty habits that would harm them. Communication is one great instrument to get close to your children and build a friendly relationship with them. Parents must work hard and converse to make children understand what their family is all about. Share incidents about your good and bad phases in life with them so that they have a better understanding of a strong family connection and life which they are to begin. Tell your young ones those stories about your parents and grand parents, about your family ties and relationship with them.

Friendship is what gets people close to each other. Always have a friendly relationship with your partner and children for a happy family. Never behave in a manner that will discourage your children to open up with you. Be frank and give your children complete information on the queries they have. To consider them to be too young to discuss on certain topics is wrong. You should help them understand sensitive subjects in the best possible way so that they get a clear picture of the subject. This will not only help your children take mature steps in life but also build a strong relationship with you as they know that you are there every moment to help and support them.

Family Relationship Problems

One of the most difficult matters to confront when it comes to family relationships is that you don’t have complete control over it. You cannot control another member of your family. You can’t change them and you can’t fix them and you can’t make them be like you. It takes at least two to tango.

Sometimes you can get another member of your family to change but I wouldn’t count on it. Another option is to accept them just the way they are. This can cause resentment, if your needs are not being met by this person or especially if this person steps over your boundaries.

A third option exists and that is to change yourself in a way that solves the problem. In this case, you need to redefine the problem as an internal one instead of an external one. Your solution will then take the form of an expansion of your awareness as you change your beliefs.

When someone upsets you or causes you frustration, they are reflecting back to you a part of yourself that you dislike. I always say that when someone annoys you, you are looking in the mirror. The mirror will reflect a conflict that you have in your own thinking. As long as you look outside your problem for the answer, you will never resolve that external problem. It may become easier to solve when you look inside for a solution.

Your belief system is at the core of the problem. When you harbor one or more beliefs that perpetuate the relationship problem in its present form, it is the actual beliefs that are the real problem, hence the unhealthy relationship.

An example of this is, perhaps you have the belief that family members are always more important to you than any other relationships. I thought that when I was twelve years old. My sister was my best friend and one day she met a new girl in school and didn’t want me around any more. I was hurt and upset and could never understand why she didn’t like me any more. A big cavern had been created because I didn’t understand. To this very day, it was never resolved. Now, I am too grown up to care.

Perhaps family members treat you badly and you put up with it because they are your family. Ask yourself if you would tolerate this behavior if it came from a stranger. Ask yourself what beliefs you hold, that would make you choose to put up with unacceptable behavior from relatives. Are those beliefs really true and are they working for you.

I love my parents and siblings unconditionally but we are not really close. I believe that I was the black sheep and now we live very different lives. I am a flamboyant liberal and they are conservative. That’s just the way it is. We still visit occasionally and talk until midnight.

Our family is important to us when we grow up. That is where we learn the most. Our interactions with them are the classrooms of life. Each and every confrontation we have with them is a lesson that we will take with us when we leave the nest. I’ll actually go so far as to say that the purpose of human relationships may be the expansion of consciousness itself. Through the process of identifying and resolving relationship problems, we’re forced to deal with our internal incongruencies. And as we become more conscious on the inside, our relationships expand towards greater consciousness on the outside.

Relationships – Family Visits

It can be incredibly hard when visiting your family, as you might not have a great relationship with them. Your significant other might not get along with them either, and this is a problem that is known worldwide. How do you handle the thanksgiving dinners? Do you even have to deal with it? It really depends on how family oriented you happen to be, and whether you value your happiness or the happiness of others.

Most parents even though they said that everything that they do is for you simple lie. If you observe closely most of the things that they do, their actions, are geared toward making their own lives more enjoyable. This might be normal in a way but it is something that all children should understand, as it will make those trips more enjoyable. If your parents really do sacrifice themselves, and your visits are already excellent then that is awesome, but this is an exception to the rule and not the norm.

There are also siblings that you might have a problem sitting next too. Families are there, but it does not mean that the individuals within them have to be friends. Blood lines meant a lot in the olden days, and still do a bit if you are in a very wealthy or known family, but it means virtually nothing in the middle and lower classes. No one cares who you are based on your last name, and it is more important to try and just accomplish something on your own.

I feel that it is a choice whether you see your family, and should not sacrifice you happiness to see that if it is something that makes you feel sick to your stomach. There are things in our past that we remember which can make the process of going back home not so good. If you are forced by your family to attend, it might just be the sign that it is something you should not be doing in the first place. Unless it feels right to you, those actions will be remembered badly and cause you unneeded anxiety. Life presents us with enough problems on daily basis, and adding to them is just not smart.

If your significant other hates your family, or you do theirs do not feel bad about it. That really does not matter, and any talk about how families are much closer in other older countries is a simple joke. Each country has their own problems, and many of the traditional families are in actuality much tougher to deal with as the older members have gigantic egos and are tremendously stubbornly stuck in their ways. Unless you want to live your life according to someone else, it is up to you to take responsibility and figure out what is the right way for you.

Relationships – Family Dynamics

When do you start to change the family dynamics?

Is it you or the children to change?

Within each family there are different situation that is played out each day
and it is sometimes difficult for the families to understand or heal their differences.
Some of these family dynamic are the parents are not satisfy with their children’s behaviour and are constantly blaming their children for not acting, listening or not doing what are ask of them.

Many parents give to their children material things because the parents do not want their children to feel deprive, not good enough or miss out on what they did not get when they were small.
Some parents over give to their children and are later upset that their children is not doing things around the home such as cleaning their room or helping around the home when some thing need attending to because the parents feel that the children should know better.

Many parents feel that their children should be grateful and show it by cleaning up their room or helping around the home and sometimes resent their children.
If the parents did not give to their children to do chores around the home, or to participate in family clean up, it is difficult that the children will start doing this on their own.

Blaming the children for not cleaning up is not the answer.
Having the children earn the things they want by having them do chores around the home.
By setting up a list of things to do around the home that can be rotated every couple of weeks can be another easy way to remove boredom.

Teaching the children that with each action they take or not take has an impact on themselves and others.
How about changing the roles for a day where the children gets to be the parent and the parents gets to be the children and see what lessons can be learn from this.

Family and Friends are Important

Barbara Streisand sang, “People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.” If it is true that people need people, then one should wonder:

— Why stress over maintaining relationships?

— Why the excuse that you are too busy to call or visit loved ones?

— Why the feeling of being overburdened with relationships?

— Why is your social calendar filled with one activity right after the other? Are you trying to please everyone?

— Are you constantly on the go and then complain about being too tired to finish projects or handle the paperwork?

— Could it be that you are overdosing on activities, people and things?

As valuable and important as these relational activities are, too much is stressful. An overflowing schedule of activities may appear on the surface to be abundant living, but most often, it is a means of running away from home-front problems. Be honest. Is one of these problems disorganization?

The secret of living abundantly is accepting and balancing the gift of relationships. Take some time to review the balance in your life. Do you maintain a healthy perspective on work, personal projects, and valued relationships while still making time for solitude?

Supportive Relationships

Balance means time for personal activities as well as time for family and friends. Implement some quiet time for monthly, weekly and daily planning. Do not shortchange yourself. Managing your time wisely will give you the opportunity to explore the gifts others bring into your life.

In a previous article titled, “A Journey of Success and Abundant Living,” I talked showed how ‘like attracts like’ and that you get what you focus on. Go back and review that article for a full understanding of living a rich life without overindulgence, overabundance or overdosing. Abundant living involves all aspects of life, including fostering and maintaining positive relationships. If you want to attract friends, then be a friend.

Nurturing Relationships

— Implement the art of remembering by keeping a birthday/anniversary list in your organizer or tickler file. View the tickler file Organizing Resources produces. You can find it on the Products Page of the website.

— Facilitate the art of conversation through face-to-face talks with family and friends.

— Never be too busy to call loved ones.

— Be a good listener. Pay attention to details.

— Be available whenever a friend is in need.

— Remember to say, “I’m sorry.”

— Have a gift drawer so you will always have a small token to express love and appreciation.

— Send flowers when important things happen to those you care about.

— Send special occasion cards and thank you notes.

— Value relationships for who they are, not what they do.

— Have friends from all walks of life.

— Express your feelings by using first person I statements rather than third-person you statements.

— Have a positive attitude. It is contagious.

Summary

The word nurture means to nourish. The act of nurturing promotes well-being for you and those around you. When you nourish people by what you say and do, you add value to their lives and your own. Be attentive and you will always find opportunities to nurture others every day.