5 Tips To Attain A Successful Family Life

Family LifeThe family is the micro unit of the larger society. Success in family life is critical to success in the society. As a result, the pursuit of success in family life is something we all should be anxiously engaged in.

Those working to build their own families through marriage spend an awful lot of time, energy and money preparing for their wedding instead of preparing for the marriage. It is more troubling because while busying about their wedding, they think and feel that they are preparing for their marriage. These are two different things. A wonderful wedding do not contribute anything at all to a great marriage which is the only road to a successful family life. For those who are not yet married, efforts in preparing for marriage would pay more dividends if it is employed in learning the purpose, principles and practices of marriage according to the author of the marriage and family life, God the Creator.

There are five key tips that can support your effort in attaining a successful family life namely:

· A firm foundation

· Commitment

· Teamwork

· Respect

· Forgiveness

A Firm Foundation

Just like physical structures such as buildings need a foundation that is firmly established to stand the test of time, windstorms, rains and other natural vicissitudes, a family need a firm foundation to be able to stand and grow and provide the platform for people to attain a successful family life.

For some families, this could be a philosophy they came together and formed and decided to live on as their guiding light. For others, it is religion. For some families, it may be a book. However, from my own experience and with some people I have been acquainted with, the Judeo-Christian Bible and some other scriptures used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are where they draw the ideology that cements firmly on the ground their family foundation.

The Bible contains information, ideas and strategies God Himself established which represent a firm foundation for building a family.

Faith in God is one of the foundational elements for joyful relationships.

Commitment

Raising a family is a tough job. It is fraught with challenges. One of the key attitudes towards raising a family is commitment. Commitment also means dedication, promise, vow, obligation, guarantee, duty, responsibility, etc. This attitude is so important that it seems everything else depends on it. It is not possible to attain success in family life without seeing the creation and sustaining of the family life as your responsibility, an obligation and a cause that you have dedicated the whole of your life to. Failure at the family level rubbishes all other forms of successes we can claim as human beings. A commitment to live and die for your family is the only way to feel and think about your family. It must be total. As you think about starting your own family or as you run the one you have now, one thought should pervade all others – I live and die for this family.

Teamwork

When you have not decided to marry, you are a lone-ranger. But when you get married, you have formed the nucleus of what might become one of the greatest teams in the whole wide world. The word team also means squad, group, unit, etc. The word work also means effort, labour, toil, action, exertion.

A marriage relationship is sustained by a team effort, labour, toil, action and exertion. For many couples, marriage relationship is a competition. It should not be so. To have a successful family life, you should work as a team. Think about a typical soccer team. They win only as they work as a team. Think about the relay race team, they win only when they work as a team.

Respect

Respect also means reverence, veneration, high opinion, regard, value deference, admiration, etc. Mutual respect is one of the foundational elements for joyful relationships. Mutual respect is so critical in a marriage relationship that I strongly recommend that if people in a dating relationship could not respect each other totally, that relationship should be cut at the point of realization of disrespect from any of the partners. It is challenging to maintain a state of mind of mutual respect. However, if your desire is to attain a successful family life, you need to learn to respect your spouse and this respect should be mutual.

Forgiveness

Forgiving those who wrong you is more relieving than the most powerful pain relieving drug on earth. In our efforts and attempts to build a family which involves marriage – a fusion of two different people – think about what happens during the scientific process of fusion – leading to the bringing into the scheme other lives. The process uses heat and also produces heat in the form of arguments, offences and quarrels. All these are necessary challenges of building the most important purpose of the life on earth – a family life. We offend one another – our spouses and children and parents – during this process.

Those who are married for even a few months can attest to the fact that there is always some form of misunderstanding in the process of building a family life.

The challenges may come from family finance, extended family, neighbours, environmental issues, religion, etc. There myriads of sources for problems on the road to building a family life.

The only known cure for these and other challenges of family life is forgiveness. Being right, logical, emotional and deeply sure about the issues on hand cannot help here. Even the apologies of one or both of the spouses cannot help. The only known panacea is forgiveness.

Forgiveness frees both partners and helps them regain the energy and focus required to continue in the process to work for and achieve success in family life.

At present I am theorizing and practicing advanced forgiveness both in family life and in my dealings with all that I have business with.

Think about it.

Francis Nmeribe works out of Nigeria, West Africa and coaches on early retirement planning, multiple sources of income, relationships and personal development. He is the author of a number of bestsellers including “Retire Early To Wealth & Fame, Dating 101: Principles & Practice, Why When And How To Start A Business While Working Full Time, Sex And Responsibility, etc. Visit his blog [http://www.successpublishers.net] or contact him through email at successpublishersng@gmail.com and fnmeribe@outlook.com or phone +2348178008112.

5 Tips To Attain A Successful Family Life

Family Medicine And Family Physicians

Family HealthTo become a family physician, men and women go through a four-year degree program, they study in an accredited family medical medicine residency program, and an additional three years of training before becoming board certified. A family physician is your one-stop healthcare expert. They treat everyone in the family and they exam, research, and diagnose medical conditions from head to toe. This type of care is called integrated care where a family doctor devises individualized health plans to treat mom, dad, and children of all ages. Family doctors treat a wide range of health conditions and they can be your primary care physicians at any point in your life. Unlike other specialties, family medicine involves coordinating all types of healthcare issues, from a common cold, pregnancies, to treating an acute or chronic illness.

Family physicians must practice at the highest level of medical care throughout the world. They are required to become re-certified around every six years, through American institutions like The American Board of Family Medicine, The American Academy of Family Physicians or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, all of which have reciprocity agreements throughout the globe for family medicine training. A few of the advantages in being seen by a primary care physician, includes the following:

• family doctors have all of your personal and family medical history because they have been treating you for years.

• physicians that have seen generations of family members can help in researching various genetic diseases, like cancer, if it appears more than once in a generation.

• doctors involved in family medicine environments can perform minor surgical procedures without the added cost of seeing a specialist.

• they improve the lives of the underserved in America and abroad.

Research and clinical studies have proven that U.S. and worldwide primary care physicians have been responsible for lowering the world mortality rates in diseases, such as in cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, low birth weight issues, obesity, and many other illnesses and health conditions. The statistical results associated with the care provided by family physicians, have proven that they help to increase life spans and control diseases from spreading. Their participation in healthcare has reduced healthcare expenditures, they help to lower hospital admissions, emergency room admissions, and they help to reduce surgical costs.

A family doctor focuses on preventive care, community oriented care, global health, plus they diagnose and manage a wide range of health problems to improve the quality of care in local, rural, urban, and large city health. Even if people are generally healthy, patients benefit by keeping a relationship with their primary care physicians. The physicians support individuals to stay healthy through dietary programs, they encourage their patient’s to exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy.

One of the main reasons that family medicine works, is the relationship that patients have with their doctors. This specialized and confidential relationship is great for individuals who feel comfortable in talking about their medical health with their physicians. Physicians around the world, are available to answer their patient’s questions in a way that forms a trusting bond. This bond creates a trusting relationship, whereby patients will listen and follow their healthcare provider’s advice and directions, thus decreasing chances of spreading contagions.

Family medicine is all about treating the whole person, not just their symptoms. A family physician has a profound effect on the physical, mental, environmental, emotional, and spiritual health of each of their patient’s. Physicians with an intimate knowledge of their patients can help introduce the healing power of hope, love, faith, and trust, as life presents challenges that can evoke depression, fear, grief, and anger. Also, if a physician’s patient requires the need to see a specialist, a family doctor will help coordinate your care. Patients can often feel frustrated and confused when they have to manage the healthcare system on their own. With a family healthcare provider on your side, the whole medical care journey is made easier and less frightening of the unknown.

Refugees have always fled to foreign countries, including the U.S. for a chance of better opportunities for themselves and their family. The present global news events are following refugees today, who are fleeing from their native countries for various reasons. Before being accepted for resettlement, all refugees must pass medical screening examinations, which is often performed by primary care physicians. The physicians perform a thorough examination of a variety of health problems that involve the mental and social health of the refugees. The family doctor’s check for infectious diseases, chronic illnesses, the refugee’s overall musculoskeletal system, and parasites, thus providing immunizations. The information that they gather is shared with that country’s main health agency, which in the U.S. Is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Keller Primary Care Physicians have all of your personal and family medical history because they have been treating you for years.

Family Medicine And Family Physicians

Next Generation Issues and Solutions For a Family Business

Family BusinessChildren may not automatically want to be part of the family business. Sometimes children who have grown up in the business become bored, uninterested or lack the desire and drive necessary to successfully run the business in the future. They may actually take the business for granted, assuming it will always be there for them. Understanding this going in, a family business can more effectively plan for generational issues in the growth and future of the business.

Preparing the Next Generation

The questions to ask are: Why do children join a family business? What are their motivations?

— To Influence the Family: This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the kid’s underlying motivations. A Family Business should foster a mission which positively influences family members, not provide ammo for the children to attack each other. Positive Influences include:

– Family Education Fund/ Emphasis on Continuing Education

– Foster an Atmosphere of Openness & Learning

– Set good examples for kids to aspire toward

– Ingrain the values of Business Integrity and Ethical Responsibility

– Foster & Promote Civic Duty

– Promote & Support Community Volunteer Work, Projects and Board representation

— To Help the Family Succeed: Success for the Family Business should translate to the success of the Family. Future generations can have better lives, pursue their passions and be happier if part of a cohesive team striving for a better future for the entire family- not just those in the business.

— An Opportunity to Further one’s Career: It isn’t necessary for every family member to remain with the business. Family members should be encouraged to pursue their passions, and the family business can be the proving grounds, the incubator, for family who want to pursue other careers or possible spin off another related business. Often, children find that after working for other companies early in their careers, the Family Business is a great career destination, allowing them to reach their full potential and constructively apply their expertise and experience.

— Like the Family Business: Having a passion for the industry and business the family enterprise occupies is often a major reason why family members join the Company. What also plays into this is the requirement to work outside the Company to gain expertise and experience. When the family member returns to the family business, there is inherent respect for the opportunity given and the successful growth history of their predecessors before them. Having a firm understanding of what makes the family business special and unique creates a strong loyalty and passion for it.

— The Challenge: If family members worked in the family business from a young age, were taught the value of a dollar, went off to college and to work for an outside Company for a several year period, then returning to the family enterprise can be a fantastic challenge to pursue. For this reason, it is important the family business provides qualified family members with a real growth opportunity, a challenge to inspire drive, loyalty and passion in their career maturation.

— Sense of Duty and Responsibility: Some of the older children in the family’s next generations may feel the duty and responsibility to serve their family interests and ensure future succession success of the business. This becomes apparent after the younger children become involved in the Company and sometimes the older child moves onto another career since his or her passion was extinguished by the stress and forbearance of fiduciary responsibility. Or, it is sometimes the older children who spin off a subsidiary or new Company after feeling they have accomplished their role in the Company. It is important to encourage the family’s children to pursue their passions, no matter what industry, and gain outside experience; however, sometimes it is a necessity to have the older child assume responsibilities early on if resources are scarce in the Company’s particular Growth Stage.

— To Make Money: While this is often the number one reason family members join the family business, it is closely followed by the “Liking the Business” category. This relationship certainly makes sense: making money is a major requirement of any career but it is strongly linked to liking what you are doing, the passion factor. A well-prepared family business provides ample growth opportunities for family members to nurture their passion and be well rewarded for it through a competitive Compensation Package.

Considerations when planning and preparing for the next Generation in a Family Business

— When family members are young, have them work on simple jobs on a part-time basis.

– This provides insights into the business, helps them understand the business from the bottom up, gives them a strong work ethic and encourages them to pursue and finish higher education.

— Work for an outside Company after graduating from college to broaden training and background.

– If the family members worked in the lower ranks of the business before and during high school and during the summers in his/her college years, then outside experience can justify moving a family member into a higher position level upon entering back into the business.

— Some tips when preparing for the next generation to join the Company:

– Never allow a family member to work in senior management until that member has worked for someone else for a few years.

– Rotate the family member throughout different positions to cross train, as well as, pinpoint interests and skills.

– Promotions only come when earned, just like everyone else in the Company.

– Devote time every day, preferably over breakfast, for face-to-face mentoring, teaching and training.

– Don’t take business issues and matters back home.

– Reward the family member with responsibility so he or she can learn to manage the business in order to potentially take over or have executive level responsibilities in the future.

– Make sure the family member knows you trust him or her.

– Allow them to make mistakes and fail; give them room to grow and learn. Help them when asked; give them autonomy.

Next Generation Issues and Solutions

Here are some common main generational issues characteristic to family business operations and how to effectively deal with them.

— The Business Owner Who Won’t Delegate: A very common problem in family enterprises is the owner or CEO who can’t let go. Many owners have a strong personal connection to the business which prevents them from allowing next generations to assume more responsibility in the business.

– The second generations are “entrepreneur successors” in training and the business owner patriarch or matriarch should be very careful not to stifle that passion and drive.

– An inherent attitude that an owner’s or founder’s shoes cannot be filled is common in a family business; therefore, it is vitally important to the future continuation of the business for a clear path toward ascendancy for the next generation be established through training, mentoring and delegation of responsibility.

– Best Advice: Hire a Business Consultant to help you work through these issues in order to develop a clear ascendancy plan that is fair, yet, challenging. Establish clear goals and expectations so next generation family members can strive to attain goals and career growth, without stifling their passions and drive. The Business Consultant can bring valuable experience and objectivity to this often controversial issue.

— Next Generation Gaining Acceptance, Respect and Credibility: If a family member has worked from the bottom up during their formative years, gone off to college to earn their business related degree(s) and gained valuable expertise and experience working for an outside firm, give him or her the respect they deserve.

– Next generation members will work hard in the business if they are praised, encouraged and accepted as equals.

– Be careful not to set expectations too high, they should be in line with the family member’s training, education, personality, skills and experience.

– A next generation member should express strong interest in the family business so the family knows of his or her passion, drive and interest level.

– The next generation member should know what their capabilities are and communicate that clearly to the family owner(s).

– A next generation family member should conduct a self-analysis of goals and skills:

* What are my strengths and weaknesses?

* What areas do I need to work on or need help on?

* What other parts of the business do I need to learn about?

* What are my leadership qualities? Are they sufficient?

* What training, mentoring and continuing education do I need to fulfill a leadership role in the family business?

* Am I happy working in the family business?

– Three Stage Training Program for Family members joining the business:

* Stage 1: Initial learning stage to fully understand all the aspects and divisions of the Company: Cross-Training.

* Stage 2: Specialization in a particular skill.

* Stage 3: Become a generalist, learn to manage, motivate and lead. Need to have strong strategic Management Skills.

– The next generation should have mentoring relationships not just with the family founder/ owner/ CEO but also with experienced business people in their industry, preferably one from other family enterprises. Long-term development mentoring support is a vital component in a next generation member’s growth.

– A next generation family member should work outside the family business as this will increase his or her knowledge, experience, confidence, and most importantly, enhance credibility with family and non-family employees alike.

Frank Goley is a business consultant, business turnaround consultant and business coach for ABC Business Consulting. He is an expert in developing, writing and implementing business plans, business funding plans, marketing plans, strategic plans and business turnaround plans. He also offers complete solution business consulting, business turnaround consulting, and web SEO, marketing and development consulting. Frank is author of a business plan book, The Comprehensive Business Plan Workbook – A Step by Step Guide to Effective Business Planning, and he writes the Business Success Strategies Blog.

Next Generation Issues and Solutions For a Family Business

The New Challenge for Families

“A home with a loving and loyal husband and wife is the supreme setting in which children can be reared in love and righteousness and in which the spiritual and physical needs of children can be met.”

It was Aristotle, in his Social Philosophy who has defined the importance of family in society. According to him, the family is the basis for community, but he does not adequately establish the significance of the individual and the intrinsic goodness of marriage and family. The superiority and sovereignty of the political regime overshadow the family.

Today, the whole Catholic community celebrates The Feast of the Holy Family. The Holy Family, according to the church is the perfect example of what every family should be. However, the family now-a-days is being faced with several challenges which puts the family in a dilemma.

You might be asking yourself, what can be the possible challenges for the family today? There are several possible challenges for the family and among these different challenges are the following:

Individualism

Individualism is practically an ideology, a social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. This school of thought technically favors and uplifts the individual as an entity that does not need or require other members of the family. The school of thought where I am great and can survive without the help of other individuals that surround me.

Hedonism

Pleasure is the sole or chief good in life. This school of thought or ideology focuses more on achieving pleasure. For as long as an action provides pleasure, whether it be physically or emotionally, I do not need to worry about what others would say, think, or do. My aim as an individual is simply to achieve the highest form or degree of pleasure.

Both these ideologies are considered threats in the family because they start dysfunctionalism in the family itself. Dysfunctionalism in the family structure is rooted as both ideologies tend to remove the other members of the family, these ideologies do not consider the other members of the family, and because these two ideologies or schools of thought focuses more on the individual person, living an isolated life where he does not need to interact, or even worry about having a harmonious relationship with other individuals or members of the family.

The family structure is slowly being ruined and being destroyed by such ideologies that makes it hard for parents to be able to teach their children basic ethics and for the children to have a grasp of what is right and what is wrong. The teachings of hedonism and individualism turn to twist concepts of right and wrong, of good or bad, etc.

This is the new challenge for families today. How can parents be able to make the family work as one unit, the solidarity and unity of the family is now being swept away and being eliminated by the concept of Individualism, where I do not anymore see myself as working with the other members of the family but working as a single individual? Hedonism on the other hand, destroys the unity of the family by pushing concept that I would only follow my parents or work with other family members for as long as the task is pleasurable but if I don’t find pleasure in it, then I would not do it. Given both concepts, how can we now raise our children and how can we teach them the value of family?

The challenge of the family is a challenge for all of us. A challenge that may cause the total dysfunctionalism of society. This is something that we, as a nation, as a country should face and resolve. A challenge that is not only present in the Philippines but also in families located in other countries and nations.

The New Challenge for Families

How To Be a Non-Family Member in a Family Business

Family businesses may be more pervasive than you think; they represent the greatest part of wealth of in the U.S. and account for 70-80% of the global gross domestic product. If your family doesn’t own a business, you may end up working at someone else’s family business, and that can create both challenges and opportunities.

If you’re going to interview for a position with a family business, in addition to the due diligence you’d complete for any potential employer, you’d be well served to familiarize yourself with its culture. Specifically, it will benefit you to know which of the following three philosophies drive the business:

Family First-The happiness of family members comes before everything else. Unity is favored, even if it results in negative business consequences.
Business First-What’s best for the business is put ahead of everything else. Professional business practices are followed and stringent rules are in place.
Family Enterprise-Striking a balance between the family- and business-first philosophies is the goal. Family satisfaction is created while the economic health of the business is supported.

In business-first family businesses and family enterprises, the fact that you’re not a member of the family may be irrelevant, since advancement will typically be based on competency rather than bloodline. The fact remains, however, that it can be daunting to work next to the wife, son or niece of your boss, and you may believe they receive favorable treatment.

If you work for a family-first business, you may face more challenges, along with career limitations. You must ask yourself whether you’re okay with the fact that family members with less ability and/or experience than you may advance to leadership positions not because of the value they bring, but who they are.

Whatever type of family business you work at, the trait that will be valued over all others is loyalty. Employees who demonstrate a commitment to the business will be worth their weight in gold, but if you’re someone who thrives on fairness, you may be frustrated with some of the decision-making.

For instance, a friend of mine worked with a family business that was practically run by three non-family members, but the owner’s wife and son were compensated higher and had better hours. When the “outsiders” brought this situation to the owner’s attention, he basically said “too bad”; family unity was more important to him than any business consideration.

As a non-family member, you need to know the “lay of the land” of the family business before you commit yourself to a role that ultimately disappoints you. You may also want to think about the following things, which will help you become a valued employee:

Be highly competent at what you do.
Be validated by your own sense of accomplishment; find joy in your work.
Know when to take a stand and when to say nothing.
Ensure your colleagues know you’re proud to be associated with the business.

Working at a family business can be incredibly rewarding for non-family members, but you can never forget that old adage: blood is thicker than water.

Denise Federer, Founder & Principal at Federer Performance Management Group

Our core services include Family Business Consulting, Performance Coaching, Speaking Engagements, Financial Advisors Succession Planning, Leadership Development, Next Generation Planning and Team Building.

We offer a complimentary initial consultation and would be honored to meet with you to discuss your most important challenges and goals. Contact us today: http://federerperformance.com/contact/.

How To Be a Non-Family Member in a Family Business

Healing the Cycle of Abuse and Pain Inflicted By Your Family

Do not force yourself to be around family members who constantly and continuously abuse you, belittle you and make you feel as if you are lower than garbage. While you cannot change our family, you can change the amount of interaction you have with any family member who is treating you less than lovingly. You do not need to be abused anymore than you already have. There is nothing that says you need to live your life in the midst of abuse, bad behaviour and a lack of respect for your health, your life and your healing.

If you find that being around your family or even being in extensive contact with your family puts you right back down into the feelings of low self-esteem, low self-worth, making you feel as if you are not important and that you do not matter, then it is time to take charge of your healing and your life. If you find that you are constantly being thrown back into the feelings of anger and helplessness, then it is time to either limit your contact with your family or remove yourself completely from them until you are stronger within yourself.

It doesn’t matter if others want to think that that is your perception. You did not imagine what happened. Waking up to someone touching you inappropriately, being afraid to talk, waking up to screams of someone being brutally choked or hit is enough to give you lasting nightmares. Your healing is the only thing that matters. For that to happen you need to remove yourself from around family members that constantly ignores your pain and act as if you are their personal punching bag.

Sadly, family members tend to take out their pain, anger and frustrations on the child(ren) that seems to be the weaker link in the family. Granted, what they think is weak is simply that child wanting peace, love and laughter in the house. Growing up in a family dynamic that is filled with domestic violence and sexual abuse is very traumatic and is made worse when a child(ren) are the recipients of the blows from adults who do not know how to handle their pain and even their own abuse.

While there is nothing wrong with understanding the family dynamics you grew up in and how it affected each member of your family, you should not put aside your own pain for the greater good of the family nor should you continue to allow yourself to be their personal punching bag. That is especially important when the main consensus is to not air the family’s dirty laundry. That is exactly the time when you need to address your pain. Hiding the family’s dirty laundry and suffering in silence is not healthy. You cannot be protecting your family while you are suffering in pain and then said family is making you feel worse. Therefore, if your family refuses to deal with what happened, then you need to take the time to heal yourself so that you can live a healthy life.

Being abused in not normal nor is it healthy. There are family members who feel that if they had to put up with it, then so should you. That may make them act as if your health or your life is not important or that you are being selfish. Yes, they will view your taking care of your life as being selfish because you are not or you are no longer being for them. They may not even realize how the abuse they suffered is affecting them. However, once you become aware of what is going on then you can take steps to initiate your healing. That may encourage family members to change their behaviour and to seek help.

However, be prepared for family members to accuse you of lying, that you are making stuff up and to heap a whole lot of vicious criticisms on you. Understand that they may be fighting their own demons and if they were to acknowledge what happened to you then they would have to face their own pain. Getting to the bottom of emotional pain takes a lot of willingness and a whole lot of inner strength.

Regardless of what family members may think of you there comes a time when you need to start concentrating on your healing. The first step after deciding that you are deserving of a better and healthier life is to now remove yourself from your family. You cannot be healing yet still be in the same situation that caused you pain. Do not bottle up your pain that will only cause depression and other health problems. It is okay to be angry with your parents. Their responsibility is to protect you, not to abuse you or to ignore when others have abused you. Be mindful that if you express that anger to your parents they may just ignore you more and accuse you of being an angry, bipolar person. That is their way of getting you to submit to them.

There are some male relatives who will feel that it is okay to treat females as objects and as things to be abused. Stand your ground and do not allow any male relative or even female relatives to put their hand on you or abuse you in other ways. If your family refuses to respect you, then do not be afraid of walking away from them and begin to live your own life powerfully without any abuse. Seek a qualified and trained Therapist who can support you in expressing your anger and help you to dig up the pain out of your system, so you can begin to live a healthy and happy life.

It is understandable to want or to even expect parents to be angry if someone abused you, even if it is the other parent. That is why your pain and anger is quite understandable if you do not get the loving support you were expecting from your parent(s) and the rest of your family. Do not waste the rest of your life trying to get your family to acknowledge your pain and the abuse you suffered. You will only be subjecting yourself to more abuse. Take care of your own life and your healing. Realize that your family may not be ready to be healed or they may feel that there is nothing wrong that it’s just in your head. Bear in mind that may be what they were told by others who do not want to deal with such heavy things or they developed unique ways to help them block out the abuse while it was going on. They may block it out so much that they may start to believe that the abuse never happened. That is their coping mechanism.

Protect your mental state and remove yourself from that environment. Focus on healing and moving your life forward. You are deserving of a life filled with clean, healthy love, a life that is free of abuse of any kind. You may not be able to help your family, but you sure can help bring healing, comfort and support to others who are facing similar issues.

One of the aftereffects of suffering any kind of abuse, whether sexual, physical, verbal, emotional and or psychological, is feeling as if your life does not matter. However, when you take the time to heal, begin to develop inner strength and self-love, you will be able to now help others, thus helping to begin realizing and feeling that your life does have meaning. Do not think that because you were abused that something is wrong with you.

You are perfect, loving, strong, beautiful and deserving of more in your life. You are the difference that others seek for their lives. You no longer stand for abuse of any kind and you will no longer tolerate abuse of any kind. People need others who are strong enough to stand up for them, stand up against abuse, and stand up to their families and say, THE CYCLE OF ABUSE ENDS WITH ME!

You can now decide if you want to be around your family and to what extent. Do not allow anyone to guilt you into being around family that keeps on adding on the abuse. Keep limiting your interaction with family until you are satisfied with your healing. You can decide how much time you are going to spend with family. It is important that you establish boundaries in your life and not allow family to violate those boundaries. Yes, some family members may no longer talk to you, however, you are now your own person directing your life. And while it would be nice to be close to your family, you have learned to no longer expect anything of them or from them.

When we can relinquish the hold of family members who are constantly furthering the abuse, then we can stand in our own power, in our own life and lead our lives in the direction that we desire. You now know what is best for you, what works for you and what makes you feel safe, loved and protected. That does not mean that you do not love your family. It just means that you love you more.

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About the Author:

Trudy-Ann Ewan is a Spiritual Wholistic Life Guide, who specializes in working with Women, who are seeking to heal their lives from the pains of sexual abuse, domestic violence. Women who are ready to embark on their Journey to building a balanced, wholistic and healthy relationship with themselves in order to create and live a passionate, powerful life. To read more from Trudy-Ann, feel free to visit her website: [http://www.themotivationallounge.com]. Feel free to contact Trudy-Ann Ewan via the website if you are interested in any of her Speaking and/or Coaching Services.

Healing the Cycle of Abuse and Pain Inflicted By Your Family

How Strong Is Your Family?

“In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities.” This statement by church leader Tom Perry resonates deeply for me. My thought is that you can deal with a lot if your family/marriage is strong, but when that foundation feels shaky, all of life becomes tumultuous.

I have a vision to strengthen marriages and families! I love this picture expressed by David R. Mace: “Nothing in the world can make human life happier than to greatly increase the number of strong families.” With that in mind, I offer this tool to assess the strength of your family life so you can experience increased joy, peace, and strength.

Caveat: We all have areas that need growth. Don’t allow any defeat to knock you down as you work through this. The purpose is to identify next steps to build the family you desire!

Respond to each of the following statements with a 1-5 rating, 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree”.

____ We have a written family vision that includes our mission, dreams/goals, and specific action steps to achieve those dreams/goals.

____ We are totally committed to our marriage/family. We’ve closed the “back door.” We’re in it for keeps.

____ We don’t have any fear of discipline for our kids. We are comfortable with our discipline strategies and consistently work together as a team.

____ The progress that we are making as a family is about what it should be for the effort we are putting in.

____ We have consistent, positive connections with each of our children.

____ We have a strong relational support network for helping build the family we desire.

____ Our children are an active part in creating our family vision.

____ We are confident that our family will accomplish our mission. We have no significant doubts or reservations.

____ Our family members can concisely articulate what we want for our family.

____ As parents, we know how to let our children fail in appropriate ways and learn from these experiences.

____ The purpose we have as parents is clear and we make our daily decisions according to this picture.

____ The stress of running our family has not seriously dampened the joy of our family life.

____ We have plentiful resources to help us accomplish our goals/mission as a family.

____ As parents, we regularly prioritize our marriage in order to keep the foundational relationship of our home strong.

____ As parents, we regularly prioritize “refueling” ourselves as individuals so that we can be joy-filled contributors to our family.

____ As parents, we model the behaviors and values that we desire for our kids to live out.

____ Our home is well-organized. We have systems and structures in place for our family operations.

____ Our children participate fully in the work of our family. They understand that we are a “team” and fin order to be a successful family, each team member is a valuable contributor.

____ TOTAL

73-90 Rock-n-Roll! You have strong clarity on the family life you want and have aligned your daily choices with those desires!

55-72 You are building a solid foundation for your family. Celebrate your strengths and identify your next action step(s).

37-54 You may have a few areas that are stronger than others. Of the areas that scored low, which are most important to you? What support do you need to move forward?

1-36 If a strong family life is important to you, some significant adjustments need to be made.

A coach can bring clarity, help identify actions steps, and provide accountability to see the family life you desire emerge. It would be my privilege to partner with you in that effort!

Family Coach, Michelle Klavohn, holds over 20 years in the field of Human Development. With a Master’s degree in Communication, she equips families to close the gap between the family they dream of and what they experience each day. Michelle regularly writes for Marriage Inc. in the Chicago area and is a contributor to the Houston Family Magazine, She passionately pursues her vision to partner with families who want to thrive! For more information on Coaching services, visit michelleklavohn.com.

How Strong Is Your Family?

Family Therapy Creates Peace for Family Conflict

One way to look at families is to see them as an organism with its members as its different parts: metaphorical organs, skeleton, skin, blood, arteries, etc. The organism is constantly trying to remain in balance and also constantly trying to become all of what it is and to express all of what it is. And to top it all off, it’s constantly growing. Just as individuals experience personal growth, families also can experience “family growth.” A family’s members can learn new, healthier ways of interacting with each other, the family can become healthier as a unit, and the family organism can learn new ways of interacting with the rest of the world. They can’t always do it on their own, though. Sometimes they need family therapy, especially when there’s family conflict.

Family Identified Patient

When there’s family conflict and they come to family therapy, only rarely does the family think of itself as the “client.” Generally, they see one person as the one with the “problem,” and they would like the therapist to help that person feel better or behave in ways the rest of the family would like better. They do generally recognize that there might be something in the family relationships that affect that individual.

Family Conflict Can Be the Beginning of the Solution

In family therapy, it often becomes evident that something new is trying to happen in the family organism that would create “family growth.” Maybe one person in the family is super-sensitive and always upset about something, or one feels left out, or someone is getting into trouble or not doing well at school or at work. Or two people in the family are always getting into arguments with each other. Basically, something is disturbing the peace and everybody (except the disturber) just wants the disturber to stop so that the rest of the family can go about its business again. They don’t understand why this person is being so bothersome for, seemingly, no good reason.

The Disturber as a Channel for the Family to Grow

Here’s a case of an individual calling for family therapy, wanting a couple of sessions of family therapy before she could feel comfortable getting together with them for holidays. In her experience, there was constant family conflict whenever they all got together.When they were all assembled in the therapy session, she began talking about how painful it was for her when they were all together because she felt like an outsider and she felt ignored and dismissed. The others couldn’t understand why she would feel this way; they felt she was always creating trouble where there was none. Sitting with them, it was like there was a hot red wound in the family where she was and that the rest of the family felt cold. Since she was the one in pain, she spoke first.

As she and her siblings were growing up, she said, their father had been physically abusive to their mother. She was the only one in the family who felt the pain of this; the others were able to numb out around it. After this, one of the siblings said he had noticed it but it was over now and therefore she was over it, too. In contrast to the “identified patient, the other sister had gone on with her life. She couldn’t understand why the woman was still holding on to the past. None of them could understand.

Finally, the woman brought up that she had been molested by someone outside the family. This shocked everyone and they suddenly began to feel not only her pain but, in a kind of spreading of the hot red wound, the pain of everything that had happened in their family. The mother admitted her pain at being abused, the father acknowledged the pain he had caused everyone and the sister who had thought all was in the past admitted that, when she was young, she knew about her sister being molested and had felt helpless and silenced. She had felt guilty about this her whole life. Where there was a concentrated “red hotness” and a general coldness, there was now warmth and empathy for everyone. The woman who had called for family therapy now felt safe going to holiday events and the rest of the family felt comfortable having her there. The way the whole family related to each other was more authentic.

Disturbing Children Often Sense the Family’s Underlying Needs

It’s often important to find out why the disturber in the family is doing what they’re doing. Most people (maybe all people) don’t act out for no reason; there’s a need they’re desperate to have met, and they don’t believe they have any other way to meet it besides through what they’re doing. Often, they’re not aware of the need; they just feel hurt and frustrated.

Consider a family where the oldest child was constantly yelling at his younger sister, calling her stupid and putting her down. When he was allowed to speak in the session, he felt that his sister was getting all the attention from their parents. This younger sister would drone on and on about her day while there was no space for the older son to speak about his day.

The parents realized this was true, and admitted they were also kind of bored by the long-winded stories, but that they hadn’t felt comfortable making time limits. This was the first layer of the problem. When time limits were put into practice it helped the relationship between the children to some extent. However, there was another layer. At one session, the son brought up that the family was very disconnected from each other. They spent so much time working and in after- school and after-work activities that they never had time to just relax and have fun together.

The parents were dumbfounded that their young son would be aware of this. It was so true, they admitted! It was right there, but they’d never seen it. This was a great family, so they also started changing how they spent their days and weeks, dropping some activities and spending more time just hanging out with each other. The problem with the two children eased up considerably.

Family Therapy Brings a New Balance

There are endless examples where what seems to be a disturbance turns out to be the family organism trying to bring out something new that heals relationships among its members. Family therapy can help with relationships and family conflict.

Zoe Zimmermann, MA, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist who has helped many families develop closer and more satisfying relationships among their members. Zoe also specializes in couples counseling. In addition, she is a certified EFT practitioner specializing in working with trauma, painful childhood experiences, phobias, effects of physical and sexual assault, and trauma from accidents.

Family Therapy Creates Peace for Family Conflict