How to Explain Family Dynamics

Family dynamics refers to the ways in which family members relate to one another. Because humans are capable of change, and family members take part in different experiences, the dynamics within a family never remain the same. People often look at family dynamics in the context of what makes a family dysfunctional.

Consider who lives in the household. Gone are the days of a mother, father and two biological children. Blended families from past marriages are common. Sometimes, extended family members live in a household too. All contribute to the family dynamics.

Analyze the ages of the family. Obviously, a 78-year-old grandparent is going to look at things differently than at 14-year-old grandchild.

Understand the history of the people in the household. People from different families come together to marry and start a new family. But each of those individuals comes with a history from their original family. This plays a part in the family dynamics.

Discover the roles of each family member. The people in the family, personalities and family circumstances determine roles.

Name rules that govern behaviors and interactions within a family. Some family rules are common knowledge, like cleaning up after yourself. Other rules may be unconscious, like not talking about a member's alcoholism. Family secrets can cause problems in the family dynamics.

Look at family communication as an important aspect of family dynamics. When communication problems exist, conflicting relationships can result. Communication should be open and positively oriented.

Share time and activities to build a strong family with positive family dynamics.