I had an interesting experience this week that I wanted to share with everybody. This week in class the topic of discussion was “The Family Under Stress” and how we can best combat the things that we are dealing with every day. We talked about little things that can cause stress but we also talked about much bigger events in our lives that can cause more stress. The discussion was engaging and I left class feeling like I would be able to apply these things into my life.
Later that day I was getting ready to register for classes for Fall Semester and I had a question for my Dad that I needed him to answer. I sent him a text and called him a couple times and didn’t hear anything back. I was getting slightly frustrated so I messaged my sister asking her if she knew where Dad was. She messaged me back and let me know that he was with my brother and other sister and asked me if I knew. I was dumbfounded and replied with a simple “Do I know what?” She then proceeded to tell me that my brother and sister had been hit by a lady going close to 60 MPH through a red light as they were going through the intersection. I was scared for 2 seconds before she let me know that they were OK and that nobody had been injured. I then proceeded to call my Mom and she told me the entire story.
The thing that I was most surprised about was how calm everybody was. There wasn’t anybody freaking out about the fact that if my brother and sister had been hit broadside then they’d probably be dead. I then realized that this was something that my parents had shown in their character for all of my life. Granted there were times when stress would get the best of them (As happens with everybody) but for the most part they’ve always shown a calm and collected manner when dealing with major events in our lives that could be perceived as negative.
When we talk about stress in our lives and things that damage a family, I think stress and our reaction to that plays a large roll in how the family grows closer together or farther apart. If you have a parent that consistently reacts to stress in a negative way (yelling, arguing, negative comments to those around them) then that is going to have two effects on the family. The first thing is that the kids will grow up dealing with stress in a similar way and the second thing is that it will tear the family apart as all are put on edge and don’t enjoy spending time around each other.
On the other hand when you have parents that are calm and they look for the good in the situation then I think that allows the family to grow closer together. That is something that I have learned from my family as we have gone through difficult situations and I think it is part of the reason why we are so close today. I feel like my family has had a lot of situations in our lives when we have been faced with a difficult situation, but every time we have gotten through it and we have generally gotten through it while growing closer together.
If only we could realize how our reaction to stressful situations would effect each and every one of the people involved. I think we would have happier families as we grew together, instead of growing apart.