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Sometimes the problems we experience in our family relationships can feel so large that we simple stare transfixed at them. It can overwhelm us and cause us to give up hope. We may resign ourselves to the idea that we cannot over come them and this is the way our family will always be…
The unfortunately result of this immobilization is that we often believe the lie that other people (or ourselves) are the problem. I am fond of quoting a line from Narrative Therapy that goes: “The person is not the problem. The problem is the problem.”
It is only when we partner together, against the problem, externalizing it from our person that we are able to overcome that problem. Blaming one another as bad, damaged, or toxic only intensifies shame and keeps us stuck. I am not saying that people don’t make bad choices. We all say things and do things we wish we hadn’t done that can have destructive consequences on our families. The point here is that if we are to have the dream family we deserve to have, we have to work together against the problem.
Instead of staring at the problem, try “gazing” at your loved one and only “glancing” at the problem. It is still there but it is not where your attention needs to be glued to. Reconnect with your family, work together against the problem and start making changes, however small that will restore relationships and rebuild connections.
It is easy to focus on the negative behaviors and personality traits of your most intimate of relationships. While these people are the ones you most care about, they are also the ones who may have hurt you or disappointed you the most too.
As you re-structure your relationship start by listing 5 things you are thankful for with each person in your life. It will help you address their strengths and it will open you up to more possibilities for hope.
Consider “thankful” to be your new password to your new dreams for your family.
My wife and I were recently listening to some parenting workshops on audio and the speaker was talking about parenting one-liners used by the Love and Logic organization. I forgot how amazingly simple and powerful these one-liners are for parents who want to stay calm and regulated during potential power struggles with their children.
Some examples of one-liners include:
Instead of getting hooked into an argument or fixing a problem for child, use the parenting one-liners to facilitate more independent problem-solving skills by the child. Genuineness, on the part of the parent, is important when using them.
Get a free pdf here: http://www.loveandlogic.com/documents/one-liners.pdf
Do you have any other one-liners you use that disrupt power struggles? Share them here or on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1703QiT