All families have patterns—a unique family culture, if you will—of relationships and interactions. These are known as family dynamics. One of the ways you can increase your family’s happiness and well-being is by developing healthy family dynamics. To do this, we first need to understand some of the factors that can affect our relationships and how we interact with each other.
What Influences Family Dynamics?
One of the reasons family dynamics are so unique is that there are so many factors at play. Parenting style; the relationship between parents; the ages, genders, and personalities of family members; how many people live together and how many generations that household spans; the physical, emotional, and mental health of family members; core values and beliefs; and personal history are just a few of the many factors that influence family dynamics.
With So Many Factors at Play, How Can I Have Any Influence Over Family Dynamics?
It can feel overwhelming to develop healthy family dynamics when there are so many issues at work. The key is to focus on the things you can influence right now. Some of these might include:
Relationship with Spouse or Partner – If you are married or living with a partner, it’s important to share authority equally and support each other. Even if you are divorced, it can help your family to feel more stable and secure if you avoid speaking negatively of the other person and communicate with them (where possible) so that you’re both informed about what’s going on in family members’ lives.
Relationship with Children – Whatever your parenting style, try to combine discipline with support, love, and instilling positive values. Help your child to problem solve, let them know you’re there for them, and show an interest in their daily activities.
Family Strengths – Every family has strengths and weaknesses. When trying to develop healthy family dynamics, it’s a good idea to focus on the positive. What is your family good at? Where do you excel? What talents and strengths does each family member bring to the household? Recognize and show appreciation for the healthy family dynamics that are already in place, and you will encourage those habits to become more prominent.
Help and Guidance for Families
Sometimes you can make the greatest progress in developing healthy family dynamics if you have some support. Our licensed therapists and counselors can help you to identify strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and work towards developing a healthier, happier family. If you feel that you and your loved ones could use some guidance and support, contact us to learn more about how we can help.