Navigating Complex Family Dynamics

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Healthy Relationships, Personal Growth

Navigating complex family dynamics can be a real challenge.

Over time, people change.

Children grow up.

Spouses grow (or don’t).

People get married (and divorced).

Family dynamics shift and alter.

It can be a shock to wake one day and find the old family dynamics we were used to have been replaced with an unfamiliar and complicated landscape.

If this is the case, one of the best things we can do is check for alignment.  We can check with those around us for alignment by using these three steps:

  1. Firmly grounding ourselves in the vision we desire for ourselves.  What is my dream for my marriage?  What is my longing for my family?  What is my goal for my relationship with my children?  Siblings?  Parents?  By increasing our own self-connection and spending some time delving deeply into our own desires for our relationships, we can become firmly grounded in what it is that we’re reaching for. Are your aspirations in line with what truly matters to you?  Visualizing your desired outcomes can help you gain clarity on your goals and identify any areas where adjustments may be needed. Want some help doing of this? Check A Surprising Source of Courage.
  2. Communicating our longings to others as simply and clearly as possible.  This may sound something like:  “I have a vision for a marriage that honors both our wishes.  Is that something you want, too?”  or “I’d like to have the kind of parent/child relationship where we enjoy hanging out and playing together.  Are you interested in that?”  If we’re aligned with our family members at the level of needs, then the lion’s share of the work is complete and what remains is to determine the strategies needed to get there.
  3. Checking for alignment.  When we ask “Is this something you want, too?” we allow ourselves to check for alignment and gauge whether or not our goals and wishes are in alignment with those we’re in relationship with.  Navigating complex family dynamics is possible when there is agreement on where we all want to end up.  If our goals are aligned, then often we can tweak our strategies to get where it is we want to go.  However, in order for this to work, the other party must be firmly grounded in their desires and wishes, too.  If you’re looking for ways to help the other person become more connected to their own dreams, read more about how systems change.

In this week’s podcast, we workshop ways to navigate complex family dynamics by checking for alignment.  Listen to the entire episode where we cover the following:

  • 2:08  How do I stay true to what I need and stay connected to my family?
  • 6:23   Avoid parenting your spouse
  • 9:48  “I had this delusion that my flexibility was building up some kind of credit.”
  • 15:22  A script to help check for alignment of family goals
  • 24:34  How to pick up what the other person is saying so they feel heard
  • 26:54  My eldest child doesn’t speak to me.  How can I change that?
  • 28:21  A script for inviting connection
  • 31:23  How to better attune to your adult child
  • 35:11  A script to check for alignment
  • 36:53  There’s no such thing as a bad parent
  • 41:18  How to listen to your child’s feelings and needs without taking it personally
  • 49:48  3 Suggest from  The Boundaries Masterclass


If you like the podcast, please consider leaving me a rating and a review so that I can support more people like you, looking to have open-hearted, honest and authentic conversations with others. ​Click here​, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select ​“Write a Review.” ​Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

What family dynamics do you find challenging to navigate and what have you tried?
I’d love to know.  Leave a comment below.

1 Comment

  1. Suzann Long

    ;I I wast ableto attend this CFTH call and have listened to the podcast several times. I feel a little more encouraged each time. i have son who does not speak to me. I am doing some deeper inner work ( the list of good things from my past and how I am a good person) to resource my self to approach him and respond with love no matter the outcome.
    I also resonate with the “delusion” that I have built up a lot of credit over the years as a single parent. Much appreciation for this whole call and everything you offered, especially about alignment.


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