Family dynamics definition relationship

The building blocks of healthy family relationships |

family dynamics definition relationship

Research affirms that the quality of family relationships is more important for they hold regarding children's behaviour and the roles of parents and carers. Family dynamics are the patterns of relating, or interactions, between family their family, paying attention to and eliciting family relationship patterns and One cannot exist without the other, and one gives meaning and contrast to the other. However we personally define family, it is inherent that there will be complex feelings and issues held within the relationships in our familial.

Differences in the make-up of families with children may also lead to diverse relationship and support needs. Two-parent families Family relationships are first influenced by the main couple relationship; this partnership has a major impact on interactions among all family members.

It is important that parents try to resolve conflict between them. Unresolved conflict between parents may impact directly on children or on the effectiveness of their parenting e. Maintaining effective communication and support for each other as parents enhances the couple relationship and supports positive relationships in the family as a whole. Sole parents Sole parents may miss the support provided by another parent or carer and feel over-stretched by the responsibility of caring for children alone.

Having a support network of friends and relatives can make a big difference. Where possible, separated sole parents can support their children by sharing positive co-parenting arrangements with the other parent.

How to Explain Family Dynamics | Our Everyday Life

This can be achieved when parents and carers value and respect the importance of children having opportunities to develop their relationships with both parents. Blended and step-families When separate families come together and form a new family, they are referred to as blended or step-families. Family members may or may not be biologically related to each other. Blended families may have to take into account more complex relationships when trying to build healthy family relationships.

Family members, especially children, may still be grieving the loss of their original family.

How to Explain Family Dynamics

Families may have to discuss how new and existing relationships between children and parents or carers are going to work. Children may spend time with two families who have different expectations of them.

These changes can cause a lot of stress to children as well as parents and new partners. Having realistic expectations and making house rules clear and predictable to all family members is very important.

It is helpful to reassure children that they will still have the love and support of both parents. It is also useful to take as much time as needed for everyone to adjust to the new family.

Help all family members recognise the importance of treating everyone with respect. Foster families For various reasons, children sometimes live in out-of-home care or foster care with people they may or may not be related to. The adults who take on this caring role are known as foster parents and they provide a safe and caring place for children. The children being cared for may have complex needs and this can be challenging for foster parents. In many cases, the end goal is to reunite children with their families of origin.

Family dynamics and the roles we play - Counselling Directory

Hence, foster parents have the difficult task of opening their hearts and homes to their foster children and one day having to say goodbye. Still, foster parents play an important role as they can help children to feel safe, secure and cared for and also show children what positive relationships can look like.

Grandparents as carers Depending on family circumstances, grandparents may either care for children for some, most, or all of the time. Whatever their time involvement, grandparents play a significant role in building healthy family relationships.

family dynamics definition relationship

When grandparents take on the main caregiving role, they become responsible for providing safety, security and care for children so they feel a sense of belonging within the family. Dealing with conflict Conflict is a normal and healthy part of family life. For example, families often disagree over things like house rules, what TV show to watch or bedtime.

Families are made up of individuals who will sometimes have different ideas, wants or needs. Conflict can occur at any time so it is important for families to have effective ways of managing it.

family dynamics definition relationship

Conflict itself is not a problem—but the way it is handled might be. When conflict is managed in positive ways, family relationships are strengthened. For example, agreeing that everyone gets to choose their favourite TV show that week and to take turns watching something they enjoy. When not dealt with effectively, conflict can be stressful and damaging to relationships. Many parents and carers find that conflict between siblings happens again and again. Children in the same family often argue, tease and complain about each other, even though they may provide good company for one another during other times.

When children fight, it is important for parents and carers to help children identify the problem behind the conflict and guide them through a process of problem solving. Children often look to a parent or carer to judge who is right and who is wrong in a conflict; however, taking this approach can lead to more frequent conflicts. Assisting children to work through the steps of problem solving helps them manage conflict fairly and become more cooperative the problem-solving process is discussed later in this information sheet.

The following sections provide some suggestions about how to strengthen family relationships so positive experiences outweigh difficult ones. When relationships are strong and healthy, they are better able to withstand the stress of challenging times and celebrate the positive experiences. Building positive family relationships is about dealing with conflicts as well as making time to relax and do fun things together.

Ways to build healthy family relationships Building and maintaining positive relationships with children and with all family members is not always easy. All families have times when tempers flare, feelings get hurt and misunderstandings occur. It takes good communication, flexibility and creativity to manage these situations and maintain positive connections. Some factors that help build strong and caring family relationships include: Making relationships a priority Our responsibilities outside the home are important.

Likewise, putting aside some time to look after our relationships at home is also important. By making family relationships a priority, we are highlighting that they are important to us. Here are a few ways to show your family that they are important: Spend time with children and other family members: Many of us lead very busy lives with lots of responsibilities. When you are together, it may be helpful to set aside a few minutes each day to spend with your family and children doing simple things like talking to them, singing songs, playing a game, reading a story or the newspaper, or even making dinner together.

Make the activity fun or do something that your child wants to do. Let your child show you how to do something so that they feel special. Seizing opportunities to spend time with family members as they arise can be helpful as well. Everyone has different ways of showing love and care. Some people give lots of hugs and kisses, others give a high-five, pat on the back, nod, wink or show a thumbs-up.

Enmeshment In Family Relationships

Any positive sign of affection shows that you care and may help develop trust and closeness in the relationship. Being warm and caring also means giving your family and children attention both when they are happy and engaged in their activities and when they are upset and need some comforting. While it is fun to celebrate birthdays and important milestones like walking, using a spoon or riding a tricycle, we can also make happy occasions out of everyday positive things that your child does.

Separate work and family life: Work can take many forms, including household chores, working in the garden, working in an office or organisation, caring for family members or running errands.

This can take up a large part of the day. Sometimes we may forget to switch off from work and end up thinking about it even when we are not working.

It may be helpful to remind ourselves to try to give our full attention to our family and children when we are with them. If we do remember something work-related, it may be helpful to write it down for later. This can help with being fully present with our family. When children see you making relationships a priority in the ways described above, they learn that they are important to you and feel loved.

Children will then understand these are important things to do to build strong relationships. Communicating effectively Effective communication means that everyone has a say and is listened to.

Good communication is essential for healthy relationships. The way people talk and listen to each other builds emotional ties and helps make our wants and needs clear. Effective communication helps family members feel understood and supported. However, communicating effectively can be challenging when there is pressure to get things done.

Ineffective styles of communication can also damage relationships. This occurs, for example, when family members speak to each other disrespectfully or use put-downs.

  • The Definition of Family Dynamics
  • The building blocks of healthy family relationships
  • Family relationships

The adults within a family can communicate values to children, such as respect and caring. This can be done by taking some time every day to talk and share information with children. Children also learn how to communicate respectfully when they see the adults around them speak respectfully to each other.

As a result, children may begin to copy these respectful ways of communicating. Families can set the tone for positive communication: Focus on what children are saying to show that you are genuinely interested. Give your full attention and treat what family members say as important. While really listening can take a little extra time, it can also help you and your child to come up with joint solutions for problems when needed rather than offering your own solutions.

Paying attention to emotions is important for supporting positive family relationships. As well as listening to words, it helps to pay attention to body language and expressions as this will assist in noticing and responding to feelings.

family dynamics definition relationship

Tuning into your own feelings and expressing them in ways that allow others to understand them promotes caring relationships. By helping children to explain their feelings you can help them understand their emotions.

Acknowledging feelings might in itself be a solution for your child. It is easier for people to listen and accept your view when you communicate in a respectful and caring way.

Family dynamics and the roles we play

An understanding of the impact of family dynamics on a young person's self-perception may help workers pinpoint and respond to the driving forces behind a young person's current needs. Exploring family dynamics with a young person helps you to understand their behaviour and difficulties in context and enables more effective interventions. Family dynamics include family alignments, hierarchies, roles, ascribed characteristics and patterns of interactions within a family.

Where possible, use a strengths-based approach when exploring family dynamics, and identify strengths or ways a pattern serves those involved. Also identify patterns that are problematic and may need to be challenged. Listen to the young person's narrative about their family, paying attention to and eliciting family relationship patterns and interpretations, including communication patterns during conflicts e. How did you react? Do you always react that way?

Family Systems Theory Traditional individual therapy tends to focus on problems in a linear manner, that is, 'event' A caused 'problem' B. The history of the problem is explored, in order to understand what has caused the problem and identify what is needed deficit in order for a person to move forward.

Family systems theory, in comparison, views problems in a more circular manner, using what is called a 'systemic perspective'. Both A and B are seen to exist in the context of a relationship, in which each influences the other the dynamics of the relationship. Understanding problems requires the assessment of patterns of interactions, with an emphasis on what is happening, rather than why. This approach emphasises the bi-directional nature of relationships, and moves away from blaming one person for the dynamic with the exception of abusive relationships, where responsibility is clearly placed with the perpetrator.

Symptomatic behaviour is seen as arising out of the inter-related behaviour of all family members. Therefore, in order to gain a better understanding of a young person's situation, their behaviour is explored in the context of their family system, rather than in isolation.

family dynamics definition relationship

What influences family dynamics? Some of the many influences on family dynamics include: This means that where there are two different theories or ideas or stories about what has happened, there is no requirement to reject one, but instead to see both as two sides of the one coin.

One cannot exist without the other, and one gives meaning and contrast to the other. When talking to a young person about their family dynamics, it is important to keep in mind that other family members may hold different perspectives and interpretations of events and behaviours.

The meaning given to behaviour is the personal truth for someone, and not the true meaning. Each family member's perspective is valid in its own right. It is important to 'hold' a variety of possible truths, while continuing to explore patterns and possible ways forward. Understanding the patterns that are maintaining the problem, including the patterns of communication and language used to discuss the problem, allows the worker to challenge perceptions of events.

In most cases, family members have underlying goodwill to work on family problems, although they may not know how. Workers can harness this goodwill and use it to facilitate positive change in the family system.

Strengths-Based Practice with families Traditional therapies have focused on problems, deficits and 'risks'. Strengths-based practice, which arises from the Family Systems Theory tradition, aims to bring strengths of individuals and family systems into therapeutic awareness. For example, it may involve exploring how a behaviour or dynamic may be adaptive or functional within the family system, or may involve reclaiming a particular behaviour in a positive light.

This approach facilitates change and growth by building self-confidence, optimism, motivation and a sense of empowerment.

family dynamics definition relationship

A strengths-based approach helps a client to identify their coping capacities and strengths to build a reality in which they are able to cope more effectively.