Wednesday, March 20, 2024

How to Repair Family Connections

If you believe that it has been challenging or difficult to connect with your children, you’re not alone. This is cliche, but it really does happen. There are many reasons why families may have to manage crises when it comes to their relationships. Changes in people’s needs may affect the priorities and quality of bonds. You always have opportunities to repair your connection. As a gentle reminder, you’re not starting over. It is more of a reset and re-establishing anything that you feel may have been lost.

Here are recommendations for you to consider: 

  1. Look at your situation right now and accept where it is. Your acknowledgment and acceptance is a crucial first step. This helps you set the tone and plan of action. To gauge your situation you can use the traffic light scenario, are you in the green, yellow, or red zone? As with the green light, things feel stable. There’s always room for improvement but you believe that communication overall is healthy.

If you’re in the yellow zone, it means that you may be experiencing a few changes but they are manageable. The red zone is similar to crisis mode where you’re unable to have a dialogue. Conflicts are constant.

  1. Ask yourself where you want to go from here or how you want to move forward. If you feel drained or exhausted, it is ok to admit it. You can allow yourself to feel disengaged. It doesn’t make you a bad parent if the only answer you have at this moment is, “I don’t want to do anything.” Take a deep breath and pause. Let go of the guilt. If you have a strong desire to repair the bond with your children, take it one day at a time.

  1. Schedule a 1:1 time with the family member. As you are trying to figure things out, lower your expectations of what this time could look like. At first, there might not be laughter. There might not be words or positive interactions. A repair in relationships will require you to get used to being in each other’s presence again. 

  1. Seek professional help. In some cases, you may need someone with further training in communication or child development to guide you. They can ask you questions to bring more clarity to your thoughts and emotions. They can normalize and validate what you are going through. Having someone, who is nonjudgmental, can give you sound advice until you can sort out the next steps.

About the author: Joy Acaso is our own Parenting Coach at Night Watch Childcare Center. She has over 17 years of experience in the mental health field. She is available to answer your questions and provide resources that can help your family thrive.

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