The “Sandwich” Generation
We can’t escape it….
our need to know where we come from,
to connect it to who we are,
and where we’re going.
— Nancy Richler
— The Imposter Bride
With ever increasing longevity, the “sandwich generation” can extend throughout two, three or even four generations. Cross-generational developmental needs are often conflictual and may become mutually exclusive and irreconcilable.
- How best to help all family members achieve an enriched quality of life?
- What constitutes appropriately permeable individual boundaries?
- What preventative maintenance will be protective of future generations?
Coupling and uncoupling, loss and death, launching and boomeranging may all occur simultaneously within multiple family life cycle stages. Mindful Relationship Coaching can help to reduce interpersonal distress, resolve conflicted interactions, improve communication, strengthen relationships and help promote active problem solving.
- How best to exist both independent of and interdependent with others?
- What patterns and processes would be most helpful to resolve?
- What relational approach would be most healing and protective?
At times of stressful life cycle challenges and transitions the need for relationship redefinition abounds. Pressure to exhibit physical and distress may build on the most vulnerable family member. That individual’s struggles are best understood in the context of others.
- What self-directed efforts can create change in family relationships?
- How best to proactively define oneself in relationship to others?
- What opportunities for emotional growth and reinvestment are present?
Unresolved conflicts from prior life cycle stages, and the more generations to be considered the greater the opportunities for relationship distress, impede the ability to complete the tasks of the current stage. The solution to three-generation triangles lies in understanding all the mutual influences and helping all family members achieve an enhanced quality of life.
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