October 2019 Knowledge Newsletter


Dear Friends,

All families have patterns of behavior that are unique to them. It is important to recognize your family’s dynamics as they determine the role you play in the family, how you get your needs met and the people you attract into your life.


Family Dynamics


Every family has its own dynamics in which each member plays an assigned or chosen role. These roles can include being the boss, the controller, the mediator, the attention seeker, the scapegoat, the failure, the victim, the favorite, the martyr, the decision maker, the responsible, successful, rebellious or unconventional one. 


For example, if you are the boss, people must listen to you and this gives you a feeling of importance. If you behave like a child, this allows you to avoid responsibility and let others take care of you. If you are sickly, a lot of attention gets focused on you, possibly to the annoyance of other family members who want equal attention. This can make you feel powerful because others are forced to subjugate their needs for yours.


Every role a parent plays creates a different response in family members. We all want love and acceptance and in order to receive those, we adopt certain behavior patterns. The response you choose will be an attempt to get your need for love, attention or approval met. If the only way to get love means you must be compliant, be the responsible one, excel academically, at sports or music, that is what you will do. If you are unsuccessful getting love and attention by being good, you may choose to be rebellious or sickly.


Recognizing your behavior choices will help you understand what role you played to order to get love. Often, this pattern of behavior continues throughout your life until you learn to love yourself and are no longer dependent on others for love. If you are unsuccessful in getting the love you want, you may have conflicted relationships with one or more parent. In addition, it is likely you will partner with someone who displays the same behavior as the parent with whom you have conflict, as well as others in your continual search for love.


This happens to provide you with multiple opportunities to recognize and resolve your issues through various relationships in your lives. If you examine the relationships in which you have felt unloved, misunderstood or never got your needs met, you will notice the personalities or the roles they play are similar to the parent with whom you had difficulty.


In addition, when you have children or you own, you may repeat the same parenting dynamics you experienced growing up, because most people tend to parent the way they were parented, as those were the role models they experienced. That may also be true of the dynamics in your partnership relationships for the same reason. These patterns can be changed with conscious effort. Since family patterns continue to repeat themselves from generation to generation, it is best to look back and understand who played what role and how different family members responded. 


You may find it helpful as an adult to talk with siblings and get their take on how they perceived your parent’s behavior, as they may have a different perspective. For example, if you thought they were your mother or father’s favorite, you should ask them if they felt that way. Then you can decide whether their response to your parent’s behavior earned them the status of being the favorite. You may still be harboring jealousy or other negative feelings even though you have long ago left your parental home. You can now see that the behavior of family members not only affects your relationships with your parents and possibly your children, but with your siblings and grandparents, if they lived with you.   


It is true that some parents can favor one child over another because the child is more similar to them in personality or gives them less trouble. Children too, can feel closer to one parent than another often because they are similar in personality or feel more loved and accepted by that parent.


If you have children, you may want to pay attention to what you expect of them and how willing are you to be loving and accepting of them no matter what they do. Unfortunately, when you grow up in homes where parents do not express or demonstrate their love, you not only do not feel loved, even if your parents say they love you, but you may repeat the same patterns with your own children. This is how these behavioral patterns continue through the generations.


Aside from understanding what you are willing to do to feel loved, I strongly believe loving and accepting yourself will help. When we love and accept ourselves completely, it is much easier to love and accept others with all their shortcomings. It is also easier to forgive and find peace in our lives.   


If you have difficulty understanding your family dynamics or knowing how to deal with them, please feel free to contact me. I am available for personal, telephone or readings over Skype, relationship coaching at any time by clicking on www.sharoncheney.com or calling me at 505 474-6363 or 514 312-2451


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May your life be filled with peace, love and abundance and showered with blessing throughout the year.

Sharon Cheney


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