Family Relations:
7 Advices

Family Relations: 7 Advices

‘Y ou were never there!’
My sister pointed it out strongly.
‘And if you were home, you were studying …always learning.’

I didn’t know she’d ever been on survival trip in the Ardennes. During that time I stayed in Wageningen. Studying. During the week I was in Wageningen and I was at home only in weekends. Then I was busy studying, go out occasionally and working.

My parents had a business in the hospitality industry. There was always work to do. Business wasn’t flourishing and my parents paid a lot of money for my school. As a result, I put a lot of pressure on myself to get high marks… obligated myself to that, in return.

That my sister experienced the situation as she did, had never occurred to me.

Very often I felt alone, missed my family. When I returned home at the weekend, it felt like they they had had no time to miss me. There was always work. Focussed attention, that is what I missed.

After 26 years this caught up with me. That touched me. I want to share with you what I learned from it…

Cherish your family

Family relationships are so important. Not only because you share many years together, but also because you learn a lot from each other, taking things over from each other and eventually recognize these things in each other. I recognize a lot of characteristics and habits of my parents in myself and in my brother and sister. These insights bring me further now, give me a direction for my future and for the upbringing of my children.

There is time

An Oriental saying is: ‘In the west they have the clock, we have the time.’
I think of that a lot. My parents were always there. Yet they were always working. They gave all their attention to the guests. Now I know that even in a situation like that you can also make arrangements and time for focussed attention. There’s always time for real, genuine attention… just make it! And the more activities you do with attention, the more time there is left. Really!

Everyone has their own perception

Each person is different, even within a family. So everyone approaches and experiences events differently. I have cousins, identical twins, and even they experience the same event each in a different way. In my childhood we moved several times. I have always seen that as an enriching experience, my brother not at all. This means that we can never reason for someone else. The only thing you can do is ask the other person what he experiences. In the extension of this lie expectations. Be very careful with expecting certain things of another… you could get disappointed.

Everyone speaks his own language
[click to tweet]
I always thought my plans were clear to everyone. I had this picture in my head: after finishing school I would immediately go to work in the business of my parents. My mothers expectations were quite different, though! She first wanted me to experience life, go abroad or something like that. She told me regularly, only it didn’t stick to me, because I was only focused on my own image.

People communicate in three ways: visually [in pictures and images], auditory [in words and sounds] and kinesthetic [in feelings]. We all have a strong preference for one of these ways. And that can give challenges sometimes…

Appointing things gives space

This is something I would like to have known much earlier in life. If you point out what you experience [see, hear, feel], you just make an observation. Because there was little talk at home, I never learned this. Am so glad that I can use this now, though it needs some getting used to. By naming what your experience you give room for open discussion and the things you say automatically come from yourself. You make no judgments and don’t give an opinion. That is so enlightening. Just wonderful! And talking about expectations once in an while can be very surprising!


All is well as it is, everyone is good as s/he is. Simply accept that. With family this often is more difficult than with ‘strangers’. Until I was 36 I lived and worked with my family. And that gives head on collisions sometimes. But nevertheless, it was fantastic. We knew exactly what we had together, what everyone’s strengths were and how we could complement each other. Acceptance is the key.

Focus on the positive

‘There is something everywhere’, is often heard and it is true. Only, the more you focus on the positive, the less you see the rest. So always focus on the strengths of the people around you. What do you value, what will make you happy?

Family relationships last the longest. To your family you say your last goodbye. So invest some time and energy in those relationships. They can really enrich your life!

‘Sharing is caring!’
Do you have any tips, experiences or additions, share them with us in the comment box below!
I love to hear from you!

Helmy Kleinlugtenbeld

Life Coach, trainer, organizer, coordinator, entrepreneur and mother of two. Born ‘at the billiards’ as they say. From childhood I experienced the challenges entrepreneurs face. With the NAC model of Tony Robbins I’ll teach you to look through a different lens, explore possibilities and focus. Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn and

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  1. Het zijn juist deze familierelaties die zo dichtbij zitten en die me raken. Ik zie en voel dat het niet goed gaat met iemand en ik mag niet helpen. Het enige wat ik kan doen is afstand houden, ook al doet het pijn. Dichtbij blijven, dit lijden voelen en machteloos toezien, dat lukt mij niet. Dus hield ik afstand. En juist deze afstand heeft ervoor gezorgd dat de ander op zijn eigen manier een oplossing heeft gezocht en gevonden. Nu blijkt dat we allebei in een fase zitten van belangrijke beslissingen nemen… wat wil ik wel, wat wil ik niet. Het lijkt verdomd veel op elkaar, dus toch dat spiegelen.

  2. Inderdaad Martha, dat spiegelen.
    Knap dat je afstand kon nemen terwijl het je zo raakte. Ik heb ook ervaren dat ik een reactie soms beter uit kan stellen. Steeds vaker zie ik dat er processen parallel lopen in de familie. Door aan mezelf te blijven werken geef ik dan de ander ook de ruimte om zijn ding te doen. Zo verandert er veel en daar wordt ik blij van. Het helpt ons allemaal.


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