A crisis is a time of decision, the outcome of which may be positive or negative.
Some families fall apart when faced with a crisis like illness, death, or financial setbacks. All families experience the challenge of a crisis at certain times. Strong families, however, have the ability to pull together and draw on each other’s strengths when they are faced with the stress of crisis. They pool their resources, work together, get help from outside support systems, keep communication open in the face of the strong emotions of a crisis, and draw on their shared spiritual beliefs. When a family is strong, it is able to maintain the flexibility necessary to weather the crisis, and family members expect a positive resolution in the end.
Try these things:
- Include in family discussions at dinner hypothetical questions involving crises (like what you would do in case of an earthquake or a hurricane, or if a parent became ill, or if there were a national emergency such as war). Use discretion in talking about these topics with young children, who may be frightened by these discussions – but they can learn that if their parents can handle these situations, so can they.
- Examine the level of stress experienced by family members and use stress reduction techniques for managing it (like exercise, cultivating a hobby, talking about stressors).
Dr. Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT