You wanted to build the picture-perfect family, but everyone has grown apart. You feel disconnected from the people you love the most; all you have are memories of what you used to be. If you’re experiencing this, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, families splitting up is becoming common, and studies show that approximately 50% of all kids in the US will witness their parents’ divorce during their childhood. Although the numbers indicate that half of families fall apart, that’s no excuse to watch the same happen to yours. Regardless of how disconnected you’ve become, you can use these tips to reconnect with your family.
- Start listening
Families don’t split up out of the blue, as several issues arise and go unresolved. Listening to your loved ones (and your kids) is the first step toward identifying and addressing those unresolved issues. Most people only concern themselves about being heard and right, even if it means not hearing others. But it’s time to stop talking and start listening. Find a convenient time to sit with your family and give them a chance to talk, even if it means venting. Your goal here is to listen first before you speak. This way, you can uncover buried feelings, pent-up emotions, and unresolved problems. Remember to stay calm and resist the urge to interrupt when listening.
- Do some introspection
After hearing all you need to hear, it’s time to do some soul-searching to discover where you went wrong. Doing some introspection allows you to better understand your emotions, behaviors, and communication (or lack thereof) that may have contributed to your family falling apart. Doing this allows you to approach and address your family members’ concerns with greater empathy instead of being dismissive. Understanding your shortcomings or behaviors helps you know what to change on your part. It also helps you identify the help you need.
- Cut out the noise and speak with a therapist
Almost everyone around you will have an opinion regarding what you need to do, and some of them, if not all, may be wrong. While speaking about your issues may be helpful, the last thing you need is conflicting answers sending you in different directions. So, cut out the noise and consult a trusted professional. You can speak with a family counselor and encourage your partner to join you. The advantage here is that you’ll discover the problems in your family, and your counselor will also help you solve them. For example, if your sessions reveal your addictions affecting your family life, you can get help. Believe it or not, addiction can cause you to lose interest in your family and vice versa, regardless of whether it’s drug, alcohol or sex addiction. Try to get professional support, for example, you can get sex addicts help and support if your therapy session reveal you have a problem in this area. Your sessions should help you get back on track to restoring a more positive family life.
- Identify the triggering effect of the other person’s behavior
Chances are, you won’t be the only person at fault. So, while you need to listen to your loved ones’ concerns about you, do some introspection, and speak with a therapist, you should also identify the triggering effect of the other person. Perhaps, your partner complains about everything you do or belittles your effort, which sends you over the edge. Knowing what the other person does that causes a reaction from you can help solve problems you may have with your partner. However, it’s important not to pinpoint every character flaw your partner might have to make yourself feel better, as that may be petty. No one is perfect, and everyone has flaws. So, only focus on behaviors that trigger an unhealthy response from you.
- Show appreciation
No family is perfect, even the close-knit ones. But regardless of the differences and imperfections, it’s important to show each other how much you appreciate one another. Look beyond the difficulties and tell your family members how much you appreciate and love even the little things they do for you. Showing each other positive appreciation can help you reconnect as a family and bring you closer. It promotes love, forgiveness, and healing – three important ingredients for any family reconnection. It also encourages positive family bonds and can keep you connected despite the most trying times.
- Go back to eating together
If you don’t remember the last time you shared a meal as a family, consider reviving the tradition of eating together. Family mealtime is a great way to bond and reconnect. Only ensure that there are no distractions from phones and other digital devices. Create a soothing and pleasant atmosphere that encourages interaction and engaging conversations.
But don’t expect this to fix the problem overnight, as it will take time and several tries. Don’t give up, though. Continue having meals together as a family without toxic conversations and arguments.