Sport of Motherhood

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Changing Negative Family Dynamics

Dear Genevieve,
When I went back to my family over the holidays, I fell back into old roles and felt stuck. How do we break out of set family dynamics that are negative and challenging?
Starting New.
Audrey

Dear Audrey.
Don’t count on your family changing, but do count on you making some changes with the way you choose to interact with some difficult family members. When family dynamics are complicated, it is especially helpful to go into a family gathering feeling balanced or grounded. How do you do that? Take care of yourself beforehand.

Just as you train for a big race or big event, make sure you sleep well and eat well beforehand. When there, take some deep breaths, say a prayer or meditation, or even take a walk if you need to cool off. If you come from a place of gratitude, you can change your attitude and your reactions. A journal is also a helpful tool.

If you can let go of some expectations, you can also free yourself up to enjoy the time with challenging family members by meeting them where they are, not where you want them to be.
Hope that helps. I have to deal with some tricky family situations myself and have learned a lot over the years.

Sincerely,
Genevieve

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