Stress is a natural and normal “by-product” of every family’s life. In fact, family stress can bring out the best of us: as we stretch to meet the challenges we face, we become better parents, our children blossom and our families grow. But too much stress can spiral our families in the other direction. Take this Thriving test to see how your family fares.
1. There is a lot of bickering in our house. Someone is always angry at someone else.
2. There’s never enough time to sit down together, either to talk or to eat. There’s always too much to do.
3. My spouse and I argue a lot about how to raise the children.
4. It’s like pulling teeth to get the kids to help around the house.
5. Our family has experienced a lot of significant change recently (divorce, death, blending family, job loss, illness, other trauma).
6. Money is very tight. My partner and I have constant conflicts about how to spend it.
7. My child has been having behavioral problems at school.
8. The children get upset when they hear us arguing.
9. I work too much, and it’s really getting to me.
10. We don’t really talk about hard issues; we just try to hold our breath, wait and let them go away.
1. We acknowledge feelings, encourage their expression and allow time for dealing with the issues these feelings raise.
2. We plan time for family activities. And we eat together at least once every day.
3. If a blended family, we maintain and nurture original parent-child relationships and let new relationships develop in their own time.
4. I feel confident in my role as parent.
5. Our family easily maintains a sense of humor and playfulness.
6. Family priorities take precedence over work.
7. I know what’s important to my kids.
8. When issues arise that we get stuck on, we ask for help from other family members, support groups, community-based programs, clergy and/or a therapist.
9. We have enough money for the important things.
10. Everyone in the family has responsibilities around the house and does them without being nagged.
If you answered true more often in the first set than in the second set, you may want to seek help lowering the stress level of your family. Families that communicate about problems, who face issues as they arise, who support one another and seek help when it is needed, can build strong bonds among themselves, nurture a healthy and loving family and have a lot more fun doing it!
Have you made some changes in your family that have helped bring you together? Please share with us below!
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