Archive for August 24th, 2010

August 24, 2010

It’s all connected – even across the generations

by Rod Smith

Open yourself to growth

I have met parents concerned about the degree of conflict experienced with their children, who then, during the conversation, will openly confess they have no time for a mother or father-in-law, their own parent, or are out of sorts with an adult sibling. When I gently point out that these conflicts are possibly connected, fueling each other, I am met with disbelief.

“You’re saying that my fights with my son over his homework (or irresponsibility, or drinking) are connected to the fact that my father-in-law is an impossible man to whom I have refused to talk for the past five years?”


“You’re saying that my ridiculously controlling mother who walks in here like a movie director telling us all where to stand and what to say is connected to my 12-year-old daughter mouthing off to me however she likes.”


When the adult takes the challenge of embracing the “impossible” father-in-law, or standing up to the “controlling” mother, the adult is taking personal responsibility for his or her pivotal relationships.

A parent who takes full responsibility for himself or herself when it comes to relating to members of their preceding generation, will see less anxious, less reactive, less rebellious behavior in the generation that follows.

Yes. It is all indeed connected.