Making it through tough times as a family unit can be difficult. However, if you don’t put the effort into getting through your situation together, things like miscommunication, arguments, and passive aggressive behavior can ensue. Below, you’ll find 12 ways to make it through tough times as a family. Take a look and see what you can do
- Arrange To Speak To A Family Therapist
You can’t be blamed if you’re not sure how to care for every member of your family during a tough time. You’re going through a tough time too, and each family member could require a different kind of approach. A professional, or family therapist, is often the only way to make sure you’re all communicating effectively and that everybody has what they need. It might seem ‘extreme’, but more families could use therapy than you think.
2. Make Sure Your Kids Know They Can Talk To You
Your kids could be going through a harder time than you think and you might not even know it. Oftentimes, kids aren’t sure how to express themselves and what they are feeling clearly – and this is sometimes why they act out. Even if they are struggling and they consciously know it, they might avoid telling you in case they upset you or worry you. Kids are way smarter than you think. Show your kids that they can talk to you by validating their feelings when they offer them, being understanding, and asking for what they need. Judging them, telling them they are being silly or it’s not that bad, or dismissing them will stop them from sharing with you in future.
3. Be Honest With Your Kids – But Don’t Rely On Them For Emotional Support
You should be honest with your kids if you need a little extra support – for example, if they could take on some chores in the house to make your life a bit easier. However, you shouldn’t rely on them for emotional support. Some parents make the mistake of considering their kids their ‘rocks’, but this can put them under a lot of pressure and force them to grow up too quickly, which can be traumatic for them. If you need support, try your partner, an adult member of your family, a friend, or a professional instead.
4. See If You Can Look On The Brightside and Find Any Positives In Your Situation
Is there any way at all you could put a positive spin on this situation? You might think not, but there’s usually a little light in the dark.
5. Practice Coping Techniques
There are a few coping techniques you can try to better manage the tough feelings you’ll all be having. Mindfulness can stop you from falling into bad habits, and help you to identify when you might be acting out of fear or anger. Meditation can help with things like stress, but it has a bunch of other benefits, too. Deep breathing is a quick exercise anybody can do for relaxation and reducing stress (most of us take shallow breaths without realizing, which signals to the body that we are stressed and makes things worse). Exercise is a great technique for releasing endorphins and other happy hormones, and can help us to feel mentally and physically strong.
Self care is essential, so this means getting plenty of sleep, eating balanced meals, focusing on hygiene, and being kind to yourselves. Finally, creativity can come from difficult feelings and situations. You might find it is helpful to write about your feelings, paint, or even make music. It doesn’t have to be professional, or even good. Creativity can be a brilliant outlet for difficult feelings, especially for kids.
6. Focus On The Things Within Your Control
You can only ever focus on the things within your control. Although most of us will worry until the cows come home about things we really have no control over, trying to get out of that habit and into the habit of focusing on what we can do is essential. You can’t control the behavior of other people, but you can control your own. You may not be able to bring back a loved one, but you can find ways to remember and honor them with things like cremation ash urns and annual get-togethers to talk about them and share good times. What are you able to control?
7. Accept Your Feelings
The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up for having feelings. We’re all human, and we can’t help our feelings. All we can do is accept them and try to deal with them as best we can.
8. Look For Meaning and Purpose
See if you can find meaning and purpose in your hobbies, and even try out activities as a family that could help bring you closer together.
9. Celebrate Small Wins
Make a big deal out of small wins. All you need to do is take each day as it comes. Take baby steps, even. Small wins are just as important as big wins, so celebrate them.
10. Remember That Everybody Expresses Themselves and Heals Differently
Everybody heals in different ways and at different paces, so don’t be harsh on yourself or even your family members if it’s taking longer to heal. There’s no time limit or rule that says you have to heal in a set amount of time.
11. List Things You’re Grateful For
Can you find things you’re all grateful for each day? Get into the habit of talking in length about the things you’re grateful for. It might sound corny, but this can seriously change your mindsets and your outlook.
12. Figure Out What You Can Learn From Tough Times
Learning from tough times and the feelings that crop up is key. Painful times make for powerful lessons. Is there a lesson to be learned in your situation now?
Making it through tough times as a family is possible with the above 12 pieces of advice. Take your time, be gentle with each other, and just take each day as it comes. Thank you for reading!