Description of stress in the family

What is stress in the family? What can stress in the family look like?
Stress in the family can have many faces. It can affect each 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. Young children in particular suffer from parental disputes because they are unable to deal with these conflicts adequately. Parents who demand too much from their children and put them under pressure can also cause stress in the family. However, children and especially young adults in puberty can also cause crises in the family, for example, through conspicuousness at school, school anxiety, etc. Stress in the family can also be self-inflicted: Mothers are particularly affected because they try to live up to their numerous roles as housewife, mother, career woman and wife and often have idealized ideas of their role.

Stress in the family circle is manifested by the fact that communication becomes worse and worse, people no longer talk about issues, worries and problems, which only makes things worse. Isolation of individual family members can also be a consequence when there are conflicts. Children in particular get caught in the line of fire when their parents are in conflict and don’t know how to process the experience. Therefore, they often withdraw alone instead of talking about it with someone in the family.

What are the consequences of stress in the family?

Stress in the family can lead to illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease. Burnout or depression can also develop from excessive stress in the family circle. Those affected suffer from the stress, can no longer sleep properly, brood too much and get psychosomatic complaints such as abdominal pain, nausea or headaches. Conflicts between (spousal) partners can lead to families breaking up due to divorce or separation, from which the children often suffer the most and they in turn are faced with new problems. In some cases, this can even cause trauma to the child, which can cause psychological damage to the child’s soul.

Origin of stress in the family
What are the causes of stress in the family?

There are many causes of stress in the family. They can be both internal factors and arise from external influences. Internal factors include, for example, self-doubt, too high demands on oneself and others, lack of attentiveness to one’s own needs, inability to deal with conflict, and fear of separation or loneliness. Many people also cause themselves stress by not being able to say no and burden 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 elderly 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 suffers from a mental illness. Financial worries and stress at work can also affect family life and cause strain.

Help against stress in the family
When does stress in the family become dangerous?

Increased irritability, unfair behavior, withdrawal, communication breakdown, psychological and physical symptoms can indicate overwork. If this cannot be managed by one’s own means, but the complaints increase, one feels permanent stress and everyday family life is affected, one should seek medical help or at least help from a divorce lawyer from Sydney. Single parents in particular are at risk.

What can be done against stress in the family?
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. In fact, they are often exacerbated when people don’t talk to each other about their concerns, fears and problems. It is therefore important to improve communication and thus automatically the family situation and togetherness. Help can be provided by family therapy, for example.

Get outside support: If caring for elderly or sick family members takes up time and energy, professional help can provide support. A home help can also provide relief. Furthermore, family help is a good contact for problems. For problems with children and adolescents, for example, you can turn to child and adolescent psychiatrists/psychotherapists.

Bring order into everyday life: Tasks should be distributed so that everyone does their part and one family member is not burdened too much. For example, the children can clean out the dishwasher or take the dog for a walk. For better organization, a to-do list or prioritizing tasks can also help.

Practice mindfulness and take time for yourself: Being mindful of your own needs can counteract overload. While family life is important, you still shouldn’t put your own needs on the back burner and neglect them. That’s why it’s important to take some time off, schedule time for rest, and spend time on the things that are good for you. It’s okay to not be able to take care of kids, household or volunteer 24/7.

Create shared experiences: To help the family regain its bearings and strengthen the system after a period of acute stress or conflict, rituals like a monthly outing or dinner together can bring new dynamism to outdated and morbid structures.

Maintain social contacts: To get out of one’s family environment and get a change of ideas, meetings with friends can help. A girls’ night out at a friend’s house or a men’s day for the father are helpful in order not to stay in the same environment all the time. This is also an opportunity to talk with friends about your own worries and get advice or another opinion.

Lowering ideal expectations: No one has to be able to do everything and master every role perfectly. It helps to reduce the demands you make on yourself.