Everything seemed great on the surface. We didn’t fight. We didn’t even have a lot of disagreements. I mean, we always texted each other about our days. So, how was it possible that our family was really struggling with connecting on the most meaningful things and in turn, causing a great deal of family stress?
I guess I didn’t realize it until we started the process of selling our home, moving into a rental, and starting a home building project. This would take a lot of work on the part of our entire family. But our reality is that my husband’s job requires a lot of travel and our daughters are both away at college. Over time we’ve learned to “get along” but not really share the deeper concerns or challenges we face. It just seemed easier to keep all our communication at surface level instead of bogging down what little time we have together with heavy topics and problems to solve. Seems smart, right? Not at all!
I pulled the family together to talk through who needed to do what in order for us to sell, rent, and build. There was a lot to be done in a short amount of time. As I was throwing out tasks like candy, I quickly learned how busy and stressed each family member already was. I just didn’t realize. Communication had become a problem for us. In order to be the family God intended for us to be, we needed to make improvements intentionally and swiftly.
For your family, perhaps the stress comes from disagreements related to handling finances. Maybe you’re a blended family and some of the relationships among family members are strained. Maybe juggling everyone’s work, school, and extra-curricular schedules makes it nearly impossible to find balance in life. All of these stressors ultimately keep our families from accomplishing what God wants for us.
I knew if we wanted to grow together, not apart, we needed to overcome our communication issues. I knew that would take digging down and figuring one another out. There’s just no way around it. If you want to overcome family stress, you have to ask some hard questions. Growth and development always starts with self-awareness—or in our case, family-awareness. Got it. The problem was, I wasn’t sure where to even begin.
I was looking for answers when I stumbled on the Ziglar Wheel of Family Life Check Up evaluation. I clicked a few buttons, and bam! I was able to see what the root of our problem was. More than that, I felt like I understand my family better. Now we have some solutions and things we can do to stay on top of our game to prioritize connection and communication.
That was it. Awareness. It’s the best way to overcome family stress. Understanding how each of us thinks, feels, and works individually and also how we work collectively. We couldn’t overcome our family stress until we understood one another better. I bet most of us want to be better parents, employees, spouses, students, siblings and co-workers. If you’re a parent, I can almost guarantee you’d like your family to be stronger tomorrow than it is today. Try the Family Life Check Up if you’re stumped like I was.