Examine Family History this Mother’s Day or Father’s Day for a Better Future

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On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we pay homage to those who gave us our start in life. Whether it was in a warm, structured, loving atmosphere or a cold, painful, abusive situation, these holidays can be a time to examine and improve relationships with our parents. Beverly Hubble Tauke, a family counselor and author of Overcoming the Sins of the Family, provides insights to help families break negative patterns and grow toward more understanding and happiness.

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On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we pay homage to those who gave us our start in life. Whether it was in a warm, structured, loving atmosphere or a cold, painful, abusive situation, these holidays can be a time to examine and improve relationships with our parents.

Every family has relational habits – positive and negative – that are passed down from generation to generation. The good habits are a blessing that continues. But how does one break the chains of negative habits and lift that weight off future generations?

Overcoming the Sins of the Family, a new book by Beverly Hubble Tauke, a clinical social worker and family counselor, provides inspiring insight to help families break their negative patterns and grow toward more understanding and happiness. The book presents eight destiny-changing practices to help families overcome a painful past and move on to create a legacy of joy for the future.

“Family history is either a reliable engine or a flat tire for your journey through life,” says Ms. Tauke. “Often, the impulse is to change the wrong tire: dump the spouse, ditch the job, move far away. But the flat tire stays with you. Count on it.”

If you have a flat tire-family, there are ways to find and plug the holes and re-tread for a smoother ride. In the process you gentle the journey for generations to come. And, if a family villain sabotages your journey, there are choices within your control to de-fang such culprits, whether or not they cooperate.

Some people dread time with relatives who fall into old roles of dominator, passive one, verbal abuser, pet, scapegoat, rescuer, peacemaker or blamer. There are strategies for replacing negative family-assigned roles with positive self-chosen roles. Such role shifts might mean rejecting scapegoat or blaming behaviors; letting other adults absorb consequences of their behaviors instead of rushing to their rescue; or resisting a habit of passivity when others demand how everyone’s time and energy will be used during family visits.

The goal is to move out of child-like compliance into adult decision-making, which subsequently can reduce anxiety, frustration and depression tied to family reunions. In the process, the new behavior model will help develop and sustain positive family relationships for generations to come.

The transforming habits from Overcoming the Sins of the Family include these actions:

  • Warm your heart through nurturing relationships.
  • Explore and resolve wounds from family history.
  • Find reason to celebrate, even in your grief.
  • Define your own role in your extended and nuclear family.
  • Minimize the family tyrant’s power over you.
  • Seek one-on-one relationships with each member of your family.
  • Embrace a vibrant connection with God.
  • Exercise judicious generosity.

Years ago, the author approached her own mother to make a change in family dynamics that had literally crippled her. After Ms. Tauke recognized her own enabling relationship pattern, she took a stand that created significant positive changes in her relationship with her parents that continue to provide benefits today.

“All of us are at risk if we refuse to admit and understand destructive family influences on our minds, emotions and relationships. It’s when we explore old family wounds that we become less likely to unload a legacy of pain, abuse and failure on the next generation or on others,” said Ms. Tauke.

Overcoming the Sins of the Family and additional information is available online at http://www.sinsofthefamily.org.

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Gail Rubin

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