And their complex dynamics
Being part of a close knit family is all part of better health and well-being, helping prevent many mental and physical problems throughout our lifetime but of course in reality this is not a given fact.
If we are truly honest and open about our own family situations, we would probably agree that interaction between various family members is at the core of unexplainable complicated dynamics. Family disharmony often happens during stereotypical happy gatherings like Christmas and birthday celebrations. Think about your own family right now and the last time you all gathered for a knees up.
The stability of the family network does often depend on environment and the consumption of alcohol and drugs. People tend to show their true colours once they start to get drunk or high, dragging up or digging dirt on unfinished business. Sibling rivalry is often a cause for huge flare ups within family dynamics and of course there is always the token obnoxious family member everyone wants to avoid.
A happy functioning family is not always easy to create where everyone feels respected and safe. Harmony and balance within the family dynamic is what we all want to strive for but long-standing grudges and quarrels can create lasting hostility, sometimes never being resolved even after death. Often if there is one dysfunctional family member contending with a problem such as drug addiction, the rest of the family will be hugely impacted and any sense of empathy or togetherness can cause the group to become critical of each other.
Boundaries among family members can often get blurred and sometimes disappear all together because we feel we have the right to speak our minds without thinking about anyone else’s feelings. We feel like we must rise above the rest and take control, show off, be the best at Trivial Pursuit and then there are the sore losers who complain of cheating tactics and cause fires that never get put out, smouldering for years to come.
Whatever your particular family situation is, it will have a tremendous influence upon the happiness and development of your own future family because we model and copy what we see and learn throughout our childhood. Those Christmas traditions and memories you cherish from your childhood and insist on repeating as you create your own family unit can sometimes be the main reason things go wrong. Subconsciously you are still harbouring pain from times that although you remember seemed like great fun at the time, may not have been a much fun as you are imagining.
We all have a huge capacity to paint pictures in our minds of the perfect scenario, especially when we want to impress other people. Building strong relationships with an extended family such as grandparents, in laws, aunts, uncles, and cousins is as important as the close ties created inside immediate family groups. However, building those close ties with extended family can be a bit more difficult because not everyone lives in the same house and are not seen as often.
The idea of the extended family unit is to have on hand help and sometimes a different spin on a common problem, such as how to handle a crabby teenager or how-to potty train a toddler. A wealth of experience can be a God send when your back is against the wall and you feel like a failure but sometimes the offer of help can translate into an interfering know it all.
It is important for families to maximise closeness to reap the benefits of house harmony by having regular family meetings to make plans and talk about any problems tearing them apart. You can even include the youngest of family members into these meetings for problem solving. Sometimes joint decisions on where to go on holiday, household chore rotas and bedtime routines creates harmony because when a family member feels valued and they have their voice heard, they are more likely to cooperate with each other.
Spending time together not just having arguments or fun but constructive time to sort out issues means you enhance the sense of what family really means. When family members plan together and interact together, every experience gives each member a sense of belonging, something we all subconsciously desire and need. Creating individual special bonds with various family members like grandparents, aunts, and cousins means we learn many different skills and different ways to handle problems and dilemmas. Strong communication is the key to family unity. Always remembering families are complex. With so many kinds of relationships between so many different people, the potential for stress and upset is enormous when everyone gets together but at the same time there is great potential for a huge support network. If everyone communicates and cooperates the rewards can be massive.
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