3 Common Hardships that Face Families Today and How to Deal with Them

Source: Talieson

Let’s face it, struggles exist and problems are going to come up in any family. It is how the family works together that makes the difference in the long run. The YMCA’s Abundant Assets Alliance reports that Americans tend to be negative about their parents, yet most parents seem to think they’re doing a great job. The following list challenges parents with some common, although very heart wrenching, hardships that face parents today. If you’re experiencing one of these hardships, this list can point you in the direction, so you can be successful and cultivate a rewarding relationship with your kids.

1. Poverty 

Even financially struggling families can work together and have a healthy dynamic. It’s only when children miss out on family time, due to demanding work schedules, that they begin to blame their parents for financial difficulties. It is important that you’re honest with your children, but there’s a fine line with that. For instance, you want your child to know that you’re not rich, but you don’t want them to stop eating because they’re worried it’s too expensive for you. If you’re struggling to even purchase food, there are government programs in place to help you ease this burden. Ask a professional their recommendation for speaking to your kids about poverty.

2. Legal Issues

Any parent who has seen her son or daughter in handcuffs has cried truly woeful tears, but also had to remain calm and responsible for picking up the pieces afterward. No matter what the crime is, you want your child to have the best legal defense you can afford. Typically when someone is arrested, bail is set. You can find a local bail bondsman by searching online.

When it comes to keeping your family together, after this very awful situation, honesty plays a big role. When talking to your children about legal mistakes, it’s important to not use disparaging comments, but instead constructive criticism. Use a firm tone when disciplining kids, but be understanding too. You want your kids to know that they can come to you if they’re ever in trouble. It may be helpful to employ a family counselor to help your family deal with this difficult situation.

3. Death

The five stages of grief list depression as number four, the final stage before acceptance. Parents will see their children go through all five stages when they’re dealing with the grief of someone close to them dying. Somewhere along the line, they may even blame you or blame their situation. You can avoid it getting to this disastrous place, by keeping yourself together for your kids and always giving them a listening ear.

If a close family member has died, and you’re grieving too, it’s important to stay close to your children. If you hear them crying, stop in to talk to them about what’s bothering them. Even if it triggers emotions of your own, be someone your children can rely on. This tool is especially useful in learning whether or not your child blames themselves in some way. If emotions don’t clear up after a reasonable time, this is another scenario wherein a family may require counseling to fully heal.

Talking and Listening is the Key to a Healthy Family Dynamic

It’s not difficult to love children, even when they make mistakes. The difficulty comes in showing them this love, when you’re attempting to hold a family together after a difficult time. Whether you’re struggling with money or your teenage son was caught stealing, you’re going to feel so many emotions. The secret is remaining calm and listening to your kids. Let them know they’re being heard and then ask that they give you the same respect. Keeping an open dialog is the best way to keep a family together.

This guest post was submitted by Samantha Peters, a contributor on the personal finance blog Paid Twice.  Sam enjoys writing about ways to ensure that your money is working hard and earning you the highest rates of return.  Sam lives in sunny San Diego, California where she enjoys life with her puppy Leona.

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