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What Causes A Family To Have Close Relationships?

Teaching self-government is a family training business where we teach families how to learn self-government in their homes. In this article, we're going to talk about what causes families to have close relationships. There was a time when I did not get along with my parents. 

In fact, I was about 14 years old and my parents and I would fight all of the time. We definitely did not have a close relationship but I craved it. I really wanted to know how to improve my relationship with them. And there was a vital lesson that I learned about the power that I had within me to fix those relationships. 

The lesson was roles, that I needed to understand who I was in that relationship. If I knew who I was in the relationship and who they were in the relationship, I honored those things by saying, okay when they gave me instructions and being okay, which is even harder.

Then saying okay when they gave me no answers and being okay when they gave me those no answers, then I actually had the power to transform our relationships. I didn't know that but it happened. A friend challenged me to say okay and be okay every time instructions or no answers came. And I did. And then our relationship became so close. 

We became very tight friends, confidants for each other. In fact, it wasn't that we really thought of each other as friends. We finally thought of each other as kin. Kin is the root word of the word kind. So, kind means to treat somebody like family. 

Care about them in that way. We were kind to each other and it felt like the most beautiful friendship. And now, that I am an adult and I've moved on with my life, we definitely have more of that friend relationship that we wanted to have in these years when everybody was all grown. I'm going to talk about the five factors for creating close family relationships in this article. 

Number 1:  Make An Investment

That doesn't mean money, okay? That means heart. Heart investment. You have to decide to care about the relationship. You have to decide to do something about it. Maybe your relationship with somebody isn't even in a really bad situation. You just want it to be even better than it already is. 

Well, you've got to make an investment. You've got to decide that this is an important thing for you and that you will make sacrifices to improve it. That's what it really means to invest. That you will do hard things to make this relationship close like you hope that it will be. 

Number 2: Have A Vision

This vision for the future helps you and the other person stay in line with where you're trying to go. In our family, we have a family vision that we set up years ago. At that point, it was 20 years in the future. We said, "What do we want to be like 20 years in the future?" 

In fact, in this book here, Parenting: A House United, I talk about how to set up a really good 20-year vision for the future for your family. Well, we went through this process of setting up that 20-year vision. And it changed us. It helped us have something to hold on to so that we would keep ourselves going in the right direction. It was a story of our family in the future. 

It was vivid it was personal and we all invested in it. So, number 2, have a vision. Keep a picture in mind of who you're becoming. That doesn't mean your relationship will get there immediately the first day or even the first month or year. But as you continually push forward toward the direction you've planned on, you'll be surprised how quickly you actually get there. 

Factor Number 3: Pre-Plan. 

So, decide ahead of time how it is that you want to communicate with this other person. How do you want to tell this other person that you care? Do you want to have meetings with this person? Do you want to have certain ways that you combat problems with this person? Well, then you've got to have a plan for that.

If you do want to have meetings, how are you going to make sure they don't go off course and people don't start attacking each other in the meetings? Again, you need to decide on a format to follow. So, I'm a pretty live-in-the-moment person. I just talk off the cuff. But when it comes to my family, I'm planned. I don't just fly by the seat of my pants and say whatever I want to say and do whatever I want to do. I respect the relationship enough to follow a format or a structure. 

This means that when I'm correcting my children, I go through a 7-step process that they know and that I know so that they can have the best chance of understanding my intentions are good, understanding what I need them to do, lowering their anxiety feeling, the love, and connection during the interaction. I don't want it to be about your being bad and I'm the best one telling you you're being bad. 

That's not a good corrective moment. When you correct your children, you should feel closer to them during and after the correction than you even did before. So, that means you've got to know what you're doing at the moment. Otherwise, you may not get the result you desire. 

Factor Number 4: Take Deliberate Action

That means when you do the actions that you've planned to do, do them on purpose. That also means that if you mess up, if you go back to an old habit if you lose your calmness and you say words that you wish you didn't say, then you stop and you say, "You know what? I'm going to stop myself here. 

I am not correcting you the way that I said that I would. I'm not using that 7-step process that I told you that I would use. And so, we're going to re-do this and I'm going to be calm." That's deliberate. And you know what else that does that is so fun? When you stop yourself and you say, "You know what? I'm not doing this right. 

We're just going to go ahead and rewind and do it again." It makes everybody realize, "Oh, these are just words. This is just an interaction. I don't need to take any of this personally. And we can fix anything as we go along. We don't have to put up with somebody doing something the wrong way and assume that everybody just has to deal with it." We don't. Our family knows it's healthy to fix. Because we act deliberately. 

Factor Number 5: Effective Communication

So, everything we do communicates something to the people around us. Every gesture that we make with our face, every gesture we make with our bodies, and of course the words that are coming out of our mouth and the tone behind those words. Those all communicate feelings. 

Feelings of contempt, feelings of trust, feelings of love and understanding, feelings of support. There are so many different things that we communicate with each other. So, we've got to make sure our communications are effective. 

How many times have you said something to someone and immediately when it came out of your mouth you went, I didn't want it to sound quite like that. And then they give you a look like, "Why did you say it like that?" Did you stop yourself? Did you get deliberate and say, "You know, I didn't mean for that to come out like that. That just didn't sound right. 

What I really meant for it to mean and sound like was this." And then did you replace it with the right thing? I hope you did because that's the deliberate thing to do. But effective communication is analyzing the way you're communicating with other people and making sure that it's the most effective. 

So, if you've analyzed what calmness looks like for you, then you communicate with that calmness. If you know that your chin starts to jut out when you get angry, then you recognize it and push it back in. No more chin jutting out. We just don't allow ourselves to communicate in that way. Effective communication also means following up on the communication that we've done with a person. 

So, maybe we've done corrections or maybe we've been teaching our children certain things, having meetings. We need to check up on how we've done with our plans for that communication throughout the week during those meetings. Our family has regular weekly meetings. We have couples meetings, family meetings, and individual one-on-one mentor meetings with our children. 

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