Have you been worried about the State of the American Family?

It’s not that unusual these days to hear one pundit or another decry the end of the American family. Even the Pew Research Center has been documenting our attitudes about the changing look of our families. The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

But anyone who thinks families are falling apart has never tried to change one.

In fact, rather than dying out, sometimes, it seems like families are made out of steel. Completely immovable. Rock solid and impervious to change. One big block of stubbornness that gives way for no one.

Think about it.

What happened the last time you tried to change something in your own family? Perhaps you wanted to swap out the ever-present almost-chicken nuggets for a healthier meal with actual vegetables. Or maybe you wanted to develop your children’s skill set by requiring that each of them start doing their own laundry. (!)

Or maybe you wanted to do something REALLY outlandish, like stay completely out of it when your sister and your mom started fighting again.

This is, in fact, one of the most common issues folks bring with them to my office – a desire to change something within their family, or maybe within themselves in relation to their family. But as any one of them will tell you: it ain’t easy.

Because families are TOUGH.

On the other hand, when things get hot enough, even steel can be reformed. 🙂

But change, as they say, begins at home. And home can be hard. In my next post, I’ll share an idea with you that will help explain how families work, and the key to getting that change to stick.

But for now, let me hear from you. Pick out a family to think about. It could be the family you’ve created, the family you grew up in, or the family next door. You may even think about one of your friend’s families, or your friends who are like family.

One of my clients called those her “framily”. I love that. 🙂

What have you noticed about that family and how they work? You can send me an email, if you’d like, or post here. I’m interested in what YOU see happening in families around you.

Here’s a few questions to get you started.

  • What do you love about them, and what could be improved?
  • What patterns (positive or negative) have you noticed that they may not see?
  • Does everyone have a voice?
  • If not, whose voice is not being heard? Why not?
  • What strengths do you see in the way they get through the day?

Share your observations in the comments below, and let’s see how much we all have in common. I’ll bet it’s more than you think! 🙂