How do I deal with family problems

Family stress

Description of stress in the family

What is Family Stress? What can stress look like in the family?

Family stress can have many faces. It can affect any person or even several members - it is not uncommon for the entire "family system" to suffer from stress. For example, stress can manifest itself in conflicts or family problems that are not resolved. Small children in particular suffer from disputes between their parents because they cannot deal with these conflicts adequately. Parents who ask too much of their children and put them under pressure can also cause stress in the family. However, children and young adults in particular can cause crises in the family during puberty, for example through abnormalities at school, fear of school, etc. Stress in the family can also be self-caused: Mothers are particularly affected because they try to fulfill their numerous roles Wanting to do justice as a housewife, mother, career woman and wife and often have idealized ideas about their role.

Stress in the family circle is shown by the fact that communication is getting worse and worse, one no longer talks about topics, worries and problems and thereby only makes everything worse. The isolation of individual family members can also be a consequence if there is a conflict. Children in particular get into the line of fire when their parents have conflicts and do not know how to deal with these experiences. As a result, they often retreat to it alone rather than discussing it with family members.

What are the consequences of stress in the family?

Family stress can lead to diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Burn-out or depression can also develop from overload in the family circle. Those affected suffer from stress, can no longer sleep properly, brood too much and get psychosomatic complaints such as abdominal pain, nausea or headache. Conflicts between (spouses) partners can lead to the breakup of families due to divorce or separation, which is often the cause of the children who suffer the most, and which in turn are faced with new problems. In individual cases this can even trigger trauma in the child, which can damage the child's soul.

Development of stress in the family

What are the causes of stress in the family?

There are many causes of family stress. They can be internal factors as well as arise from external influences. Internal factors include, for example, self-doubt, excessive demands on yourself and others, a lack of awareness of your own needs, a lack of conflict management and fear of separation or loneliness. The ability not to be able to say no also makes many people stressful and overburdened themselves with too many tasks.

External influences can include the double burden of work and family, an inadequate division of labor, intra-family conflicts, lack of attention, disruptions in (couple) communication and the care of old or sick family members. The loss of family members can also trigger a deep crisis. In addition, stress can arise when someone in the family has a mental illness. Financial worries and stress at work can also affect family life and create a burden.

Help against stress in the family

When does family stress become dangerous?

Increased irritability, unfair behavior, withdrawal, breakdown in communication, psychological and physical symptoms can indicate overload. If you cannot cope with this with your own means, but rather the symptoms increase, you feel constant stress and everyday family life is impaired, you should get medical help. Single parents in particular are at risk.

What can be done about family stress?

There are various aids and tips to protect family life from stress, to deal with stress or to reduce it. These include:

  • Improve communication: Conflicts arise when communication fails. They are often even aggravated when people do not talk to each other about their worries, fears and problems. It is therefore important to improve communication and thus automatically improve the family situation and togetherness. Family therapy, for example, can help.
  • Getting support from outside: If caring for old or sick family members costs time and energy, professional help can have a supportive effect. A domestic help can also provide relief. Family help is also a good point of contact in the event of problems. If you have problems with children and adolescents, you can, for example, turn to child and adolescent psychiatrists / psychotherapists.
  • Bringing order into everyday life: Tasks should be distributed so that everyone does their part and not one family member is burdened too much. The children can, for example, empty the dishwasher or take the dog for a walk. A to-do list or the prioritization of tasks can also help for better organization.
  • Practice mindfulness and take time for yourself: Mindfulness for your own needs can counteract the overload. Family life is important, but you shouldn't neglect and neglect your own needs. It is therefore important that you take a break from time to time, plan time for rest and deal with the things that are good for you. It's okay not to be able to take care of children, household chores or volunteering 24/7.
  • Creating shared experiences: so that the family can find themselves again after a phase of acute stress or conflicts and the system is strengthened, rituals such as a monthly excursion or dinner together can bring new dynamism to outdated and pathological structures.
  • Maintaining social contacts: Meeting friends can help to get out of your family environment and get other thoughts. A girls' evening with a girlfriend or a men's day for the father are helpful in order not to linger in the same environment all the time. Here you also have the opportunity to talk to friends about your own worries and get advice or a different opinion.
  • Lower ideal ideas: Nobody has to be able to do everything and master every role perfectly. It helps to reduce the demands on yourself.