As we all probably know, family problems and family stress are also high
on the list of the biggest causes of stress. It seems the idea of
family and problems go hand in hand. When a child grows up and leaves
the nest, so to speak, it is absolutely amazing how ridiculous family
conflict can become.
One such version of this conflict is interference by the parents into their children's adult lives. Coming from a family, in which interference is kept to a minimum, I am always amazed at the lengths, to which people have to go in order to create boundaries between themselves and the interference of their parents or parent-in-law. But problems in family settings never seem to stop. Year after year, family gatherings, often at the time of special occasions such as holidays, religious festivals and birthdays, are filled with emotional strife caused by family problems.
Sometimes this interference shows up in annoying little ways and in other cases, it manifests itself as complete control over an adult child's life. There is a great movie with Mandy Moore and Diane Keaton that covers this topic. It's called "Because I Said So!" Another is "Monster-In-Law" with Jane Fonda.
Another stress causing issue on the lengthy list of family problems is
religious conflict. The parents follow a particular faith and the adult
child takes one of three paths.
The first is to leave the faith entirely, the second is to practice in modified or relaxed version of the faith and the third is to change faiths or marry someone or co-habitate with someone from a faith that conflicts with the faith of the parents. Whatever the choice, there is no doubt that more than one family has been destroyed over religious conflict. It such a shame that something that is supposed to be so beautiful, loving and peaceful can be twisted so badly.
I am always shocked by the heinous acts that will people will commit in the name of their religion. Someone has to tell them they have pretty much missed the whole point. It begs the question, would you rather be right or would you rather have a relationship with your children when you are old and nearing the end of your life? I am sure I read something in the Bible about pride being a sin.
A third item in the family stress category is when there is a divorce or other separation. You rarely hear a news story about how two parents separated or divorced on friendly terms and everyone worked hard to ensure the best interests of the children were kept at the forefront of everyone's minds. But news stories about manipulation and revenge and control and even violence, hatred and murder are all over the place. It's difficult to believe that love was ever even in the picture.
These three family problems are just the tip of the iceberg of family stress. People could really go a long way to preventing all of this by adding a few problem solving skills to their self management portfolio.
Solving a familial or generational wellness challenge is no different than any other. It just takes knowledge and awareness, some energy and willingness and the right blend of tools and skills. Having a harmonious family life is more than possible.