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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stepfamilies Find Different Ways to Connect

Our family has been travelling for a week on vacation. We started our trip off by attending a family reunion and saw several extended family members we hadn't seen in years. It was a wonderful time of reuniting and seeing how families have changed and grown.

We left there and continued to visit other family members we don't see often in between some fun activities such as Seaworld, Rangers game, and a day at the beach. We've encountered a variety of stepfamilies along the way and I've noticed many differences in how families relate to each other.

I've seen some families use humor and sarcasm as they interact with one another. It's not the style I prefer but some families seem to thrive on it and naturally relate to each other that way.

Other families use syrupy sweet communication as they dote on each other. The interaction may seem fake to me but it seems to convey love and acceptance toward those in that family.

I noticed some families who have worked through significant struggles in their stepfamily relationships and seem to have bonds closer than ever. In visiting with them, you hear the commitment and dedication they have with one another.

And then I learned of a family who is choosing to alienate each other through their relationships with others outside the family unit. When things get rough, the parents choose to seek out comfort through unhealthy relationships with others that will ultimately result in the demise of their family.

It was interesting to me to recognize the choices family members make that determine how the family unit functions. It is easy to see that there are many different ways to connect in our families. However, a common element I saw with the greatest success was those families who chose to follow the Golden Rule regularly : "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

In other words, if I don't like others to communicate to me through sarcasm, I will not communicate that way. If I want to be treated with respect and kindness, I will treat my family members that way. And if I want love to be verbally communicated to me, I will offer my love verbally to others.

It seems a simple rule to follow but can make a huge difference in our families. I can't say that I have followed it every step of the way on our vacation but I have a few more days to work at it!

How can you follow the Golden Rule today?


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