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Understanding family dynamics

Family is the foundation on which the opportunities of socialization, well-being and protection are established in human relationships. The characteristics of each family nucleus, its composition, conditions and quality of life implies a higher or lower degree of vulnerability and consequently, a higher or lower degree of power.sni

Modern life projects a variety of moral, social, political and cultural factors that compete to organize families and society. They often disrespect the essential principles and values of life and human coexistence. Hence, the family consists of a genre that constantly reproduces the power of hierarchy and subordination, of dominator over dominated and of adult domination over children.sni

Families exist as their own structure made of people who share bonds and a sense of history and endeavour to meet each other’s needs. These core qualities set the stage for family dynamics, without a structure, these dynamics cannot play out.sni

What are family dynamics?sni

 Family dynamics are the patterns of interactions between family members as well as the varying relationships that can exist within a family. Every family has its own dynamic, which manifests in its own way. Uncovering these relationships help you better understand what is a functional family and how do we know if we have one.s

Functional one will have conflict. It is normal when we can have an argument and get to the other side of it still friendly and satisfied with the outcome. But to be honest that is not always the case. Sometimes we say things that we regret. If we can feel and show remorse for our part, quickly apologize, ask for and receive forgiveness, no harm gets done and mutual trust is established.s

We as families blend in pursue of connection. To understand the blended family system, we need to first understand what a family system dynamic is. Unfortunately, this is a theory that once had very clear cut lines; today those lines are more subjective than ever before. Given that the family is an ever changing system with fluid boarders. There are some finite distinctions that may separate the typical system from a blended system.sni

Factors affecting these dynamicssni

Dynamics are affected by many factors. This includes number of children, family’s culture, communication styles, behavioural patterns and emotional interdependence. There is kind of metamorphosis in family dynamics. It relates to how humans and their offspring are capable of changing and interpreting different life experiences in the family that can ultimately transform the dynamic bond. This metamorphosis suggests about caring, patience, communication, love, loyalty, shame, secrecy, and duty in the context of family life.sni

Impact on child development

A study from Princeton University was conducted in 2012 by Thomas. It found that on average, when compared to children from single parent families, children from two-parent homes had higher scores on cognitive ability tests. They also seemed to exhibit fewer internal and external behavioural problems. Moreover, few positive developmental outcomes that are brought on from children being a part of a nuclear family are being physically and emotionally healthier. They are less likely to become involved in substance abuse, to commit crime or get arrested.sni

Effects of divorce

Another dimension in it is divorce. Divorce rate has increased substantially leaving couples single and families broken. In family dynamics divorce cannot be overlooked as it negatively affects and impacts youngsters for the rest of their lives. Although it is the decision between two parents’, children are hurt the most in the process. The concept of divorce is extremely difficult for children to understand as there are many unanswered questions and uncertainties.sni

The core of these dynamics; family therapy and treatment are complex and a whole field of psychology in itself. These impressions come as much from experience as from education and training. No family is perfect, not even the functioning ones. Respect is the Holy Grail of functional families. Being considerate of each other is the tie that binds, even more than love. When relationships between and amongst people are healthy they can withstand stress, even trauma, and if not bounce back, at least recover. Resilience starts with encouraging sound health, eating and sleeping well, and physical activity.sni

The family has been the focus of care and concern in medicine, since it has an extremely relevant role in health prevention strategies, as well as in planning and delivering children and adolescent health care. In a certain way, family-centred care involves all the members of families. Special importance is given to relationships established among them, which is understood as one of the determinants in the health-disease process.sni

By: Dr Fawad Kaiser, Psychiatrist

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