What Advice Do You Give Families Going Through Major Transition?

What Advice Do You Give Families Going Through Major Transition?

In the midst of significant life changes, therapy professionals offer their pearls of wisdom to families navigating new chapters, such as a move or the arrival of a new baby. The Founder and CEO of a clinical psychology practice emphasizes the importance of savoring small moments of normalcy. Alongside this expert advice, we present additional answers, culminating in the essential need to prioritize emotional well-being for all family members.

  • Savor Small Moments of Normalcy
  • Maintain Open Family Communication
  • Set Shared Goals for Transition
  • Seek External Support Resources
  • Embrace Flexibility Amidst Change
  • Prioritize Emotional Well-Being for All

Savor Small Moments of Normalcy

Find moments to enjoy small details within the normalcy of the process. There can be so much about transition that is about the big picture, and it's common to feel like you're seeking to survive through the day-to-day of newness and change just to get to everything feeling completely different on the other end of the transition. However, there are thousands of tiny moments of normalcy as you go through that could create beautiful memories during the process, as well as give you a sense of groundedness now—to acknowledge that wherever you're going, here you still are. This could look like taking a brief breath in the car as you buckle your seatbelt, acknowledging this as a dull and familiar task that you've done before the transition and you'll continue to do after. It could be taking an extra 15 minutes to get a morning coffee, going on an evening walk, ordering the family's favorite meal, or simply brushing your teeth. Acknowledging these moments throughout the transitional period can help with feeling connected to the moment and to the things that aren't changing amidst all of the things that are.

Carly Claney
Carly ClaneyFounder/CEO, Clinical Psychologist, Relational Psych

Maintain Open Family Communication

It is crucial for families facing significant changes to uphold a culture of openness and honesty in their conversations. This approach ensures that everyone feels heard and valued during times of uncertainty. By sharing feelings, worries, and hopes, the family unit can strengthen its bonds, providing a solid foundation on which to navigate the transition.

Misunderstandings and assumptions are often at the root of conflict, but these can be minimized through clear and consistent dialogue. Start a regular family meeting to keep conversation channels open.

Set Shared Goals for Transition

When a family is experiencing a major shift, it's beneficial to come together and agree on common goals. Establishing a shared vision provides direction and a series of steps that everyone can work towards together. It's like building a bridge to your new situation, where each family member is an important builder contributing to the construction.

Having unity in purpose can reduce friction and help distribute responsibilities fairly. Take an evening to sit down with the whole family and draft your shared goals for the transition ahead.

Seek External Support Resources

Times of transition are often complex and seeking help from outside resources can be instrumental in adapting to change. Counselors, support groups, or even close friends can offer advice and a listening ear, which can greatly ease the process. These resources can provide valuable insights and coping strategies that the family might not have considered.

It's important to recognize when assistance is needed and to not hesitate in reaching out for it. Consider locating a local support group or professional who can guide you through this period of change.

Embrace Flexibility Amidst Change

Flexibility can be a family's greatest asset when faced with new and unpredictable situations. It's natural for plans to evolve, and staying resilient can help the family adapt more readily. Encourage an atmosphere where changes can be discussed and adjusted to as part of the journey, rather than seen as setbacks.

By being open to different approaches, the family can find innovative solutions that work best for their unique circumstances. Foster a spirit of adaptability in your home by talking about the importance of being flexible during family discussions.

Prioritize Emotional Well-Being for All

In the midst of upheaval, a family must place a high emphasis on the emotional health of all its members. Recognizing and validating each other's emotions can alleviate stress and foster a nurturing environment. It's essential for family members to support one another and provide a safe space to express feelings without judgment.

Emotional well-being is the glue that holds the family together when everything else is in flux. Set aside time for individual check-ins with each family member to ensure everyone's feelings are being addressed.

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