Family stress knows your where about and tends to show up exactly where you live: at home! Nowadays when both partners are totally involved in their careers, and children remain completely engrossed in various extra-curricular activities, the stress in the family easily takes its roots, making the family unit very susceptible to a break down.
The result of such a family lifestyle is a number of separate individuals living under the same roof, who lead their own isolated lives, face their own problems, and are left to solve them on their own.
The whole family unit is affected when even one person is stressed. The solution lies in working through the problems as a team called the family, which needs to be strong and its members should know how to cope with family stress.
A number of things can be done to cope with family stresses, of which some are mentioned below:
Spending time with your family is the foremost thing that will reduce family stress, and the best way to do that is by sharing a meal at the dinner table. Enjoying a simple meal with your family is a great way to connect with everyone, and share things each one of you did during the day. Do not eat dinner in front of the TV; instead sit in the dining room. Including kids to work in the household chores like raking the yard, doing the dishes, biking and playing games together, or going out for family vacations and movies can lessen family stress.
- Face the truth that home is not always a peaceful place to rest nor is it free from any kind of stress. Even though you may love your family and like being with them, home can become a very stressful place as there are many people living there, who have many expectations from you that you cannot always fulfill. Learn to take the family disappointments in your stride and not let it be the origin of stress. So even if you do try fulfilling everyone’s demands or desires, accept the fact that you are not perfect, and are simply human.
- Having fewer expectations of your family members will help you cope with family stress. Do not expect your spouse to listen to everything you say nor your kids to be A-grade students, and don’t expect your house to be immaculate always. It does not happen always and imperfections are part of life, so accept and learn how to deal with them. Accept each one in your family the way they are, and there will be less stress in the family with everyone happier at home.
- Do not avoid family discussions, instead communicate and work towards finding a solution to the problem. Whether the problem is major or minor, if it causes a family member any kind of tension, it causes family stress. So, be a good listener, and let the family member talk about it and involve the family in solving the problem in hand. Encourage open communications through word and actions.
- Do not force yourself to cope with stress, let it happen naturally. You may want everything to happen at once, like connect with your spouse and kids but that is not possible always. Children change and you need to accept that, especially teenage kids as they tend to become elusive and moody. Once you accept them as they are, and deal with the fact that they may not open up to you all at once, you will be able to cope with a great deal of family stress.
Coping with family stress maybe difficult, but it is not impossible. By admitting your own limitations and those of your family, and realizing that your family includes various individuals who have their own lives, concerns, way of seeing things, you can understand their point of view and accept family stress as a part of life.
You may also like to read my article on stress in the family, and do share your views on how do you cope with family stress.