Family dynamics are how your family interacts and relates with one another. While no two families are the same, there are patterns common in every family. Your teenager’s self-perception and viewpoint of the world is influenced a great deal by your family’s dynamics, therefore understanding the main influences of these interactions will better help you to understand your teenager and how you can help them as a parent.
Your Relationship With Your Spouse
You are your child’s main example on how a relationship should be. If they see that you and your spouse love and care for one another and continually seek to make each other happy, then they too will expect similar relationships with those around them. The same goes for the opposite as well, if they notice that one parent is domineering, uncaring, unloving, etc. then they will expect to be treated or will treat others similarly.
What to do: If you notice your teenager is in an unhealthy relationship or friendship, take a look at your own relationship. Work on your own marriage until you feel like it’s worthy of replicating because that is exactly what your teen will do.
Number of Children In The Family
The number of children in your family has a great impact on your family dynamics. If your teen is an only child, they may resent having your full attention 100% of the time. In contrast, if you have a large family, then your teen may feel like they are not getting enough attention.
What to do: Decide which of these scenarios may be affecting your teen and do your best to give them what they need to feel loved and trusted. Whether this means giving them more space or finding opportunities for more one on one interaction, will be completely up to you and your family.
Your children are a reflection of their environment and the people they surround themselves with. Each member of your family will have different personalties, and some will be stronger than others. These opposing personalities will oftentimes clash causing friction within the home.
What to do: First of all, realize that it is completely normal for families to fight and get frustrated with each other, it’s what you do to get over these times of contention that matter. Always enforce the golden rule within your home by “treating others the way you’d like to be treated.”
Your family values are important and will help give your teenager needed guidance and direction. Sometimes teenagers will rebel against these traditional family values and leave you feeling hurt or disappointed.
What to do: As much as you may want to at times, you can’t force your teenager to believe a certain way. If they start going against your family values and appropriate disciplinary action has had no effect you may need to accept the fact that they don’t share your same values, and then do your best to love them anyway.
Recognizing your family’s dynamics and how they correlate to your teenager will help you as their parent in raising them to be good people.