There are so many reasons families grow apart. You can talk about dysfunction, distance, and just the fact that time goes on, which can result in more regrets and recriminations. But the main reason families stop being close is that they stop being a family. With this in mind, it’s important to note why families can grow apart, but also understand the best ways to stay close despite everything that is going on.
Incredibly simple, but if you find that relationships can sour because of a lack of communication you need to take the opportunity to step back and actually listen. As a parent, you may feel that it is your way or the highway and you’ve got stuck into this habit early on in your child’s life, but now they’re grown up and flown the nest but you still cannot bear to change your attitude and think that they are incapable of looking after themselves. But there are things you can do to make this change. Of course, there is family counseling, which can be beneficial if both sides don’t have communication skills but we have to remember that sometimes, our families need us to listen. Lending an ear is the simplest sign to show that you still care.
Pick Up the Phone
Everybody is busy. The modern world seems to be so busy that there is little time for a proper conversation. If you are concerned that your child is not speaking to you enough it’s not about sitting there waiting for them to pick up the phone, it’s about taking the initiative. Sometimes we can stop ourselves from instigating communication for fear of something irrelevant. We may find the picking up the phone can result in a strained conversation which can only serve to frustrate us. But communication is not about trying once and failing, it is about working hard at developing the art of conversation and communication. Nobody is perfect at communication, especially families that struggle with it.
Scheduling a Holiday
One of the best ways to remain close as a family is to exert that extra effort. You may find that you only get together during the times where it is expected that families get together, like Christmas. But if you want to make the effort to keep that family bond strong beyond mere telephone calls, you’ve got to plan a break as early as possible. This is especially true if you have a big distance to travel. And you may think that making these experiences is pointless because a family holiday can end up souring your attitude to them. But it’s important for every member of the family to look at these moments as a positive experience because they are all together.
And finally, we have to remember that as parents, we have to set the example. Setting a positive example can prove challenging, especially if we feel that they are not instigating much contact with us. But we must remember that families can grow apart if we don’t make the effort ourselves.