How do they do it? How do some families manage to walk through natural disasters, family illness, and financial struggles without any sign of family stress? Are they experts at family stress management? Can you learn the same kind of family stress management?
There may be much more than meets the eye when one of your neighbors handles stress well and the other crumbles under it. Many variables contribute to family stress management.
What is stress?
Stress may be defined as a physical or emotional demand that you think you can’t handle.
Causes of Family Stress
You could spend many days trying to create a complete list of things that cause family stress. We list a dozen common causes here to give you an idea.
- Sexual discord between spouses
- Unforgiving attitude of a spouse
- Divorce / step parent situations
- Lack of sufficient income
- Aggressive, uncooperative children
- Chronic illness in a family member
- Lack of communication among family members
- Poor academic performance by children
- Physical or mental handicap
- Teenage rebellion
- Over-spending on the part of one parent
- Too little time spent on family relationships
Look at Family Stress
Stress seems to be part of a parent’s job description. From the time you awaken in the morning until you fall into bed at night, you are surrounded by physical and emotional demands. Stress. Family stress.
Getting the children up, fed, and off to school on time involves both emotional and physical demands. When you reach a point where you think you can’t handle it anymore, family stress sets in. The hassle may be trivial, but over time, the pressure builds. The arguments, squabbling, and dawdling get to you. You boil with anger. You tighten with frustration.
Stress comes with marriage, too, no matter how sweet your relationship. It is probable that as many as half of America’s adults who suffer from severe stress blame it on a spouse.
He doesn’t understand her. He has no time for her now that they’re married. All he does is work and watch sports on television. The physical and emotional demands of dealing with his lack of attention get to you. Family stress results.
From his standpoint, she spends too much money. She’s always going over the budget. She invites her mother over far too often, and she never seems to consider his needs. Emotional and physical demands of trying to live with the reality of who she has become mount. The pressure becomes too much. He begins to take it out on the whole family, and causes family stress.
Your children may also contribute to family stress. Overnight, they may seem to change from angels who once slept sweetly in cribs to individuals with their own strong wills.
Physical demands on your children are a part of growing. From the frustration of a toddler learning to walk and talk to a teenager dealing with raging hormones, life can cause stress for your children. Their stress involves you, and causes family stress.
Family stress can be caused by just one family member who thinks he or she can no longer deal with the physical or emotional demands of some part of life. Family stress cannot be blamed on that one individual, though. Everyone contributes to family stress. When one member suffers stress, every other member must be very strong to avoid becoming part of the problem.
Family stress management is a family matter, and will require effort on the part of all concerned.