An educational psychologist shares a few tips on reconstructing your family system during the holidays

Children are often just wanting to be heard. They want acknowledgement from their parents and this is achieved when a parent listens, by fully engaging with their child, without interruptions. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to co-construct in conversation with your child, listening to them as well as helping them listen to themselves.

Here are a few tips on how to reconstruct your family system during the holidays:

  • Make meaning together with each member of your family through shared personal information exploring their talents, successes, values, interests, aptitudes, abilities, coping skills. Help them to feel proud of themselves and show them that they are their own anchors for their lives.
  • Illuminate your family tree by recapturing life chapters/life stories/funny memories/childhood memories/previous vacations, etc. and finding the emerging themes (golden threads) from these narratives; these unique stories support your child to restore their sense of self and often bring back a sense of belonging.
  • Sculpting a picture of who they are, through the information they have shared, creates a platform of mutual understanding and shared memories (often forgotten) and this can help you realign the fundamental principles of your unique family system, and most importantly family cohesion.
  • Emphasise their strengths, coping skills, and resilience, which in turn allows them to unveil the golden thread which emerges from within their lives and recovering your signature family values and principles.
  • Invest time with your child to guide them in understanding the phenomenal insight that has emerged from their lives and expanding on their potential to lead a meaningful and happy life.