There is so much tension and turmoil in the world today that it is hard to know what to focus on. Individuals and families feel overwhelmed, confused, and angry about what is happening in the world. Some families may need to take stock of what is truly important for one’s survival and happiness. This includes learning how to cope with trivialities, distractions, and issues outside of one’s control. This is no easy task given the complexities of families where individual wants and needs often compete with one another. What does it take for a family to get back to what matters?
Time, Togetherness, and Alone Time:
- A family needs time for all members to come together, do things together, and share common experiences. This togetherness should be specifically for the members of the family and not new boyfriends/girlfriends and best friends. Times spent with extended family and friends are wonderful, but it is important to mark certain times for family only. This time should be spent doing something together that everyone can participate in and enjoy. These shared experiences aid in bonding and trust.
- Children usually crave one-on-one time with a parent or both parents. Make sure that all of the children have this type of time since it is as important as togetherness time. Children may need to talk about issues that they don’t want to talk about in front of their siblings. They also may need to talk about difficult subjects without the distraction of siblings.
- Because too much togetherness may be overwhelming, everyone in the family needs time and privacy. Teaching children to respect parents’ and siblings’ privacy and alone time builds healthy boundaries.
Stress management and Problem Solving:
Problems including substance abuse, mental illness, financial instability, divorce, infidelity, job loss, moving, and blended families are just a few of the disruptions families can face. Both adults and children need space and time to process what is happening in their world and how they can respond. This can be a time to teach children ways of problem-solving and ways to cope when problems are beyond one’s ability to control. Parents can help children explore what types of coping skills work best for them. The family can practice coping skills as a group through games, exercise, prayer, art, drama, meditation, and a variety of other techniques.
If you need help talking to your family about upsetting current events, stress, and problem-solving, family therapy can help. A family therapist can help define goals, and teach problem-solving, relaxation skills, communication skills, and conflict management. These frightening times can just be about fear, anxiety, and anger or it can be a time of growth, understanding, and seeing the family as a haven from the uncertainties of the world. To talk more about this, or anything else contact us at Connections Wellness Group . Thanks.