Families are messy. We love our families but are not always sure how to live in them. As adults we often want better family relationships and are forced to work through the needs imposed by various life events with our parents, siblings and adult children. But, right when we need to be able to communicate and support one another most, we fall into old patterns that get in the way. We may want to work on family relationships, but turn to just working on communication skills. What we really need is to take a step back and look at our family members from a new angle and to consider our family life with a fresh perspective.
For some family relationships this can feel almost impossible; I know this from professional and personal experience. I am a counselor and along with my husband, we are loaded with family; we have step, full, half and adopted siblings, divorce, step-parents, and an inter-generational home life.
In general, we all live with a value system that is being thrust upon us and is constantly reinforced by our culture. The current financial conditions have left many adult children living with their parents – and vice versa – due to any one of life’s many circumstances. As a result we may be left feeling that “my life” doesn’t measure up to expectations. We often find it difficult to empathize with the aging parent who has become disabled or isn’t who we imagined they should be, or the sibling who isn’t living a life that we like, or the adult child who is estranged. Add to this the fact that we do not tend to build adult relationships with our parents, siblings and children after we separate or simply grow apart. It is no wonder we don’t interact effectively when the time comes that we want or need to come back together emotionally or physically.
Is it easy to strengthen family relationships? No way! Fulfilling? Absolutely! The goal of Families Turning is to provide practical and accessible skills and transformative ideas to work on this project.
So what would it take for families to thrive instead of just survive? The Families Turning mission is to empower adults – one person at a time – to be the positive Change Agents within their families. We will equip you with practical and accessible tools in order to strengthen family relationships and become that positive force. We need to take some time and give some energy to this project. The change will require us to do some internal work to understand our actions and reactions, find the capacity for gratitude in what we have, to overcome some of the expectations that we have placed onto our relationships, and see that we can live into a new course for the future.
In our experience at Families Turning we have seen a great thirst, willingness and enthusiasm on the part of individuals for something better within their family relationships. Families want to turn toward each other and we are here to equip you – the Change Agent – for a lifetime of harmonious, fulfilling and productive interactions with your family.