The job I’m being hired to do would be to supply parents with the tools for navigating a resilient family culture when they are in need of recalibrating their purpose without the stress of guesswork or screwing up their kids, nor getting trapped in the traffic jams, roadblocks, and detours of destructive cultural patterns.
I have often thought my job was to help parents deconstruct their generational traumas, confront their assumptions about systemic patterns, and break the cycle of their wounded child tendencies and become more conscious parents. Those are part of the package, but are also a very tall order. These are the ways that I think about the problem, but I don’t believe they’re part of my job. As parents learn the tools of a resilient family culture, they will likely come to these conclusions on their own and be part of the discussion, but that isn’t my ultimate job. I kind of hope that gaining the tools I share with them will lead them to seek treatment to heal from the excess baggage we all carry around as parents.
I have been obsessed with family culture because I wanted to know how to break the cycle of dysfunction in my family and figure out how to prepare my children for a future of unknowns so they might be successful despite what happens tomorrow. I originally thought that a successful family culture hinged on my ability to model success for my kids and always be capable of showing up for them to model every behavior and characteristic I wanted to instill in them. Exhausting, amiright?? I accidentally stumbled upon the truth as my exploration into family culture unearthed the dysfunctional patterns of more than just my family. I began to see how society at large has been repeating patterns of dysfunction that are deteriorating individuals and families and breaking down our resiliency.
I want to give parents the tools they need to have confidence in their ability to be resilient in spite of the challenges we face, in spite of what the future holds, and be able to navigate those ups and downs with compassion.