In previous posts, I talked about the five dimension approach I talk to life coaching. In the last two posts, I talked about the physical dimension. In this one, I talk about the family dimension. Often, this is the area clients feel they neglect the most in the hustle and bustle of every day life. They allow work schedules to overwhelm them and turn around one day to see their toddlers just days away from entering high school or worse putting on their graduation cap and gown. Suddenly, they discover the need for balance in their life realizing it is too late to bring back the years they have lost with their children.
My approach to the family dimension looks at two branches of this area that may seem a little different from others. The first area will be familiar to you, I’m sure. It deals with the relationships in the family. I try to explore with you what kind of relationships you want and what kind of relationships you have. Relationships is purposely plural because their are many in every family. Parents influence us, whether alive or passed on. Whether we come from a great, loving environment or a broken home. Whether we have been abused or witnessed abuse at the hands of one or both parents. These have impacts on us in many ways.
Next we look at the relationship with your spouse. Is it what you want? Can it be better? Did you expect him or her to change? If so, that’s an unrealistic expectation in marriage. What about you? Did you change? Probably not. So what’s different from when you first met and how do you bring that spark back? What kind of relationship are you looking for and how do you get there from where you are? Is this a first, second, third, … marriage? If multiple marriages, is it your spouse that causes the issues? Why are you attracted the same kind of person?
How about relationships with children or stepchildren? How do you handle the stress that comes from conflicting schedules? What are your parenting issues? Having raised a boy and a girl who are now out on their own with spouses and with three grand kids, I’ve learned a few successes and a few mistakes along the way. What are you looking for and how do you get from where you are to where you want to be?
How about relationships with your siblings? Are you close? Do you want to be? How about with their spouses and children? How do you begin to have the relationship you envision with them? Is it possible? What if it doesn’t happen? Can you handle being rejected or isolated from your siblings if their beliefs are unlike yours? How if your beliefs and values are important to you?
What about your extended family relationships? These can get convoluted in our society where more than fifty percent of the population live in broken homes. Multiple sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles kids have never seen, maybe even unknown brother and sisters from multiple marriages. Family relationships can get very complicated, very quickly.
Relationships in families can be difficult, but are some of the most important parts of life. A life coach can help you priorities and create the relationships you want.
The second part of the family dimension that I talk about in my approach is family spending habits. While I discuss job and career and earning as part of security under the physical dimension, real financial security comes from spending less than you make. Those decisions should always come through family discussion and consensus. More divorces happen over money than any other single issue, so it’s important to discuss spending early and often in every healthy marriage. Until the family learns to spend less than the family makes, finances will continue to drive a wedge between partners. There are things you can do to reduce spending and get finances under control. Once money is no longer a wedge, relationships can grow.