September 27, 2013

Learning To Like The Ones You Love

Today, I want us to eavesdrop on some things we might hear in a typical family: “Mooom, he’s touching me”… “Stop it! You started it! Just leave me alone!”… “Did […]

Today, I want us to eavesdrop on some things we might hear in a typical family: “Mooom, he’s touching me”… “Stop it! You started it! Just leave me alone!”… “Did you hear me?!”… “I’m warning you, this is the last time I’m going to tell you!”

Does any of this sound even a little bit familiar? It’s easy to laugh when you hear this, whether it brings back memories from your own childhood or something you might have said or heard just yesterday! Let’s face it, when any group of people shares a space and spends time together, conflicts are bound to arise.

And, it doesn’t matter what the relationship between these people might be – or even the ages of those individuals. After all, children are people, too… and we’ve all probably met some grown-ups who act like children!

Let’s not forget your “work family” either. A lot of people spend more hours with their coworkers than they do their own families. Do the math: If you’re getting around 8 hours of sleep a night, an hour a day getting to and from work, at least 8 hours actually working, maybe another hour a day sharing lunchtime with coworkers, we’re already at 18 hours and haven’t even included the time spent possibly running errands or actually getting ready for work.

Add that all up and it leaves MAYBE 4 hours a day for your family. And, if that family includes young children, chances are their bedtimes shorten that time to an hour or two tops!

WOW… when you look at it like that, it really makes us think about how we’re spending that time together. One of our company team members is friends with a family who has three kids ranging in age from 5 to 12 and I got exhausted just hearing about their daily routine! Between getting kids ready, dropping kids off, picking kids up, taking kids here and there, both parents working 60+ hours a week in very different shifts, it’s no wonder these people find themselves stressed all the time, with the parents battling the kids – and each other – and not a moment of peace for anyone.

The oldest child tends to be quiet, responsible and just wants things to be orderly as she tries to take care of everything. The middle daughter basks in being the center of attention and lives for the approval and company of others. The youngest is the only boy and almost six years younger than his sister. He’s bright and strong-willed which means he’s always ready to go toe-to-toe with anyone to get his way.

Add in a hyper-responsible, independent-minded mom and an outgoing, creative, dreamer as the dad and you can probably see why this family might have some trouble finding a little bit of balance in their lives. Mom describes her life as a three-ring circus performing on a merry-go-round that never stops!

Do you have that picture in your mind? Pretty overwhelming, isn’t it! I’ll bet if you close your eyes and just sit still for a minute, you could see and hear yourself right in the middle of all that – and be looking for the quickest escape. And, this mother WAS!

She would call, sometimes in tears, other times not even able to complete a sentence because of the mayhem going on around her and even other times she just sounded so defeated and spoke almost in a monotone. It reached the point where our team member was seriously worried about her friend and the well-being of her marriage and family.

At this point, it might sound like we’re headed for anything other than a “happily ever after” kind of ending. Let me tell you friend, I have seen and heard about so many marriages and families devastated by divorce, conflict, violence, torn relationships… you name it, I’ve seen it or lived it! And it just breaks my heart to hear about love within a family that has gone so terribly off-course.

Sometimes we’re just SO close to people or situations, it can be hard to take a step back and bring a fresh mindset to something we’ve been living so near to and for such a long time. That was the case with this mom. She brought a lot of baggage, some of it nearly a decade old, to her relationships within her family.

And, unfortunately during these times and in these situations, we can end up making some very poor choices and decisions that can lead to some serious, negative consequences. Fearing her dear friend might be on the edge, concern led our employee to talk honestly to her friend about the different types of personalities she was juggling in her family every day and offer suggestions for seeing each person from a new perspective.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes to move someone off their current path and to start heading in a new direction. Thanks to this slight nudge, this topsy-turvy family has begun to communicate more effectively by acknowledging and recognizing the treasures that lie within each of their members and speaking to the strengths that each brings, making their family “team” stronger together.

Now, don’t get me wrong, they still could benefit from a ringmaster some days and their lives were not magically made perfect overnight! But, they have made a commitment as a family to set aside some of their old mindsets and bring a desire to diligently work on their relationships. And, as an added bonus, these new skills they’ve learned in their family are also benefitting their relationships in school, in their businesses and with their extended family, too!

By now, you’ve got to be thinking… wow, how did something go from being so bad to such a huge turnaround?! Whether your home or work “family” might seem just a tiny bit off-kilter or you know somebody who’s facing a full-on relationship meltdown, there is hope! Be the positive change in your world and share this message with your home, work or community “family” and spread your influence a little wider on Facebook and Twitter.

And, don’t forget to join me this Sunday evening for The Dani Johnson Show, when we’ll discuss how to change some other damaging mindsets! I’ll be taking your calls LIVE at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT and you can join us via television, radio, your computer, smartphone or tablet.

In great faith,

 

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Categories: Parenting & Family   

Tags: article   family   family balance   quality time   The Daily Fix   

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