With the holidays coming up, we’re inundated with commercials showing happy families settling down to enjoy some quality time together. We’re also likely to come across television shows where the theme of family disharmony is quickly restored.
Unfortunately, in real life, these scenarios are far less likely to occur. Upheavals in families can often endure for a long time, arising as emotional outbursts and settling into sullen resentments that can always be experienced during family events.
Signs of Family Upheaval
Many issues can trigger family upheavals. These issues impact the family and cause all sorts of relationship problems between members.
Signs of a family upheaval are arguments and disagreements. Communication breaks down. Innocent questions result in angry outbursts. Confrontations are often followed by avoidance.
- There may be pervasive feelings of anxiety or depression.
- Family interactions may cause stress, exhaustion, and confusion.
- Family members may become withdrawn and feel isolated and alone.
- Symptoms of distress may be a lack of concentration in school, and difficulty eating well or sleeping properly.
These upheavals may result in arguments with relatives, friends, and colleagues. They may also result in blowouts between family members, with parents becoming increasing punitive or children becoming increasingly rebellious.
If the situation goes unresolved, family members may resort to taking drugs or resorting to substance abuse or illicit drugs as a way to cope with or escape the situation.
7 Top Things That Cause Family Upheavals
Here are 7 of the most common reasons for family upheavals with suggestions on how to resolve them:
Problem: A difference in values, beliefs and opinions. These are due to personality clashes or diverse goals.
Solution: Conflict can be overcome by talking things over and accepting each other’s differences. It’s not always necessary that everyone hold similar beliefs, opinions, and ideas about life.
- A change in the family structure.
Problem: A new baby in the house changes how everyone relates to each other. A divorce or separation creates tension in the air. Blending families can cause confusion about meanings and values. There are many misunderstandings about what things mean or misinterpretations how things should be done.
Solution: Communication is necessary to resolve differences of opinions. Calm and honest discussions will go a long way in alleviating concerns and coming up with mutually satisfying decisions. A further step would be learning how to have fun through doing thing that everyone enjoys.
- Moving to another city.
Problem: This may be due to job relocation or some other compelling factor that makes it necessary to uproot the whole family to a new life. The move itself is not problematic, but confusion about how to get everything organized in time may result in numerous arguments that can wear on everyone’s nerves.
Solution: United, the moving company, has developed a two month plan to remove all the hassle, confusion, and emotional upsets often associated with moving. This plan consists of the following steps:
Week 8: Schedule a moving estimate from a moving company 8 weeks out.
Week 7: Book your move.
Week 6: Notify essential service providers, like utility companies and your post office, of your move.
Week 5: Declutter the house, by selling, donating, giving away or throwing what you don’t want to take with you.
Week 4: Check in with your moving company about what you plan to move.
Week 3: Prepare family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues about your departure.
Week 2: Make final plans. This could range from discontinuing your memberships, making a decision about your pets, etc.
Week 1: Begin the moving process. This ranges from last minute packing to working with movers to make an easy transition to your new home
- Financial problems can cause disruption to the household.
Problem: A major financial loss due to a job loss or an unexpected expense can impact the whole family. Things that used to be affordable are now considered expensive.
Solution: Financial problems can be overcome by creating a financial plan. By working toward a common goal, it’s much easier to come out of a difficult situation. Plans might include ideas on how to increase income by finding extra work and decrease expenses through budgeting.
- Mental illness or addictions.
Problem: A family member’s mood disorder like bipolar disorder or addiction like alcohol, drug use, gambling can affect every family member.
Solution: It may be necessary to talk to mental health professionals or family physicians to get the necessary intervention.
- Serious illness or unexpected death.
Problem: When a family member is diagnosed with a serious illness or there is a car accident or unexpected death in the family, it can cause panic, confusion, and deep distress. Acting in grief, family members might take it out on each other.
Solution: The only thing that can be done when dealing with a catastrophic situation is to get all possible outside help and agree to support each other with the emotional shock.
- Bullying or Harassment.
Problem: Some form of bullying can create intense fear among family members. This could be domestic violence, an older child bullying a younger one, or a physically or emotionally abusive parenting style.
Solution: It may be necessary to get outside help if the situation is critical. Relationship counseling, mediation, and helplines can offer meaningful solutions.
A Solution Oriented Approach
When family upheavals occur, family members experience so much mental confusion and emotional distress that their problem may appear insurmountable. Despite how things may appear to be, simple, practical steps can be used to resolve these problems.