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  • Writer's pictureAileen Miziolek

How to Create Resilience in Family Relationships


Senior man working in greenhouse to plant new seeds.
Creating resilience in family relationships by growing people and learning together.

If we don't grow together, we grow apart.

In the hustle and bustle of family life, many families miss out on opportunities to slow down and really appreciate each other's perspectives. In my experience, each generation has a tendency to approach interactions from their own place of knowing and assuming - imposing their expectations or assumptions onto each other. This dynamic inhibits genuine learning and collaboration.

 

Creating a safe space where family members can pause and stretch into learning about one another's experiences and perspectives, instead of assuming, sounds simple but is not easy for many families. I have seen, older generations approach these opportunities with a bit of scepticism - a slight bias in thinking that they know what the younger cohort is facing. This bit of resistance is often evident in body language and tone and can get in the way of good communication between generations. Instead, I coach parents to approach these conversations with curiosity and the intention of listening to their kid's experiences and insights. This embodies empathy in action — meeting the rising generation where they are and building on that to move forward together.

 

Utilizing relatable stories to highlight diverse life experiences between generations leads to greater understanding within families, but we need to begin with open hearts and open minds. When we take the time to acknowledge our differences, we recognize the individual strengths that each of us brings to the family, and how our unique contributions actually create a greater and stronger whole. This is why the practice of regular family meetings is so important, because these meetings provide a structured time to foster genuine understanding and connection between family members.

 

To strengthen bonds we must acknowledge and embrace our current realities before charting a collective path forward. Without this foundational connection, there is a real risk of drifting apart. It's not just about learning from one another; it's about learning together and strengthening the resilience of family relationships.

 

By fostering empathy, curiosity, and genuine connection, families can bridge the gap between generations and embark on a journey of shared growth and understanding.


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