Families are considered the basic unit of the society, it is from the family, no matter how perfect or imperfect, that individuals develop and interact with other members of their community or the world at large.
There is a lot of scientific evidence that supports the fact that when families disintegrate children are left with intellectual, physical, and emotional scars that affect them for life.
So it’s important to pay attention to common family problems that can threaten the health of a family, because problems that are not addressed in the home spill out into the society and develop into bigger problems that will be hard for the large institutions of the society to solve.
No two families are the same; each family is unique in its own way. But there are common problems that are prevalent in families across different cultures and locations.
To every problem, there is a solution.
Here are ten common problems faced by families and how to deal with them.
10 Common Family Problems and How to Deal With Them
1. Lack of Proper Communication
Proper communication is the bedrock of every strong family. Lack of communication creates distance, which is not good for the health of any family. It is important to be as clear, open, and honest as possible to create an atmosphere in which every member of the family is free to express their love and differences for one another.
One of the most effective ways to improve proper communication is scheduling family time. This can be done by eating meals together and establishing family routines. Family routines can be established by setting aside a night every week or month to watch a movie with your family or engage in other fun activities.
Another way to improve communication is to be an active listener. Nothing can be more off-putting like speaking to someone who is distracted on their phone or not really listening. Ignore all electronic devices when communicating with your spouse or children and focus on listening rather than constantly thinking of what you’ll say or how you’ll respond.
2. Arguments and Fights
All families fight.
It’s possible for you and your spouse to have a lot in common, that’s probably why you chose them in the first place. But your personalities can’t be the same, and personalities clash.
These differences can cause arguments and fights if care is not taken.
Attack the problem, not each other.
When arguments and fights arise, show unconditional love to your spouse and kids while communicating your grievances to them. Do not communicate your grievances in harsh tones that will make the other party withdraw into themselves to avoid getting hurt. Always give room for explanation; listen to truly understand the reason behind their actions before passing judgment or making harsh comments that will hurt your spouse or kids.
Distance can come in two forms, physical and emotional, and none of these two forms is good for a family.
There might be legitimate reasons that are out of your control that can create physical distance and separation in a family. One of the parents might get an appointment or job offer out of state or town that will improve the family’s finances. At some point the kids have to go to college out of town or state, sometimes out of the country.
Distance can be dealt with by making deliberate efforts to stay in touch. Technology can be used effectively here; you can stay in touch through group chats and scheduled calls. You can play online games with your family and share details about your day and work though video calls.
And when making calls and video chats, pay attention, eliminate all distractions and truly listen and share. Talk to them as if they’re right in front of you and not thousands of miles away.
4. Time Management
It’s important for family to spend time together, but if any of the two spouses isn’t great with time management, time spent with family can be affected, creating distance within the family.
According to author and sales expert Grant Cordone, “People who are success-minded don’t want to just win in one area.” “Who wants to succeed in business and fail at home?”
It’s important to prioritize your family as much as you prioritize your work, because at the end of the day you’re working to create a better life for your family. So it will be counterproductive to abandon your family for the sake of work.
You can learn more about effectiveness so you can finish work at work and have enough time to spend with your family. A great way to do this is to schedule your day, know what you’re going to do each day. Set realistic goals and expectations and be disciplined to follow through. So when you leave work and walk through the doors into your home, your family knows work is done for the day and they have you all to themselves.
5. Money Problems
Money plays a big role in the day-to-day activities of a family.
About a third of adults with partners agree that money is a source of arguments in their relationship. It could stem from not having enough money or having enough money and not spending or managing it wisely.
Personality plays a big role in finances, it’s important to know what your money personality is and the money personality of your partner. Some people are natural savers while some are big spenders and prefer to make statements with their money and purchases, while others take pleasures in spending and shopping.
It’s important that you recognize bad habits and address them through open and honest communication.
- Deal with Debt
Recognizing bad habits and addressing them will help to prevent debt down the line. And if you currently have a debt, incurred by you or your spouse, a payoff strategy should be agreed upon and executed by both parties.
- Check your Ego
This is good advice if one spouse earns more than the other and therefore carries a huge chunk of monetary responsibilities. If you’re the one with more cash, you need to be sensitive about how you present money decisions. Try as much as possible not to act selfishly, impulsively, or aggressively. You should never make the other party feel inferior.
Trust is an essential ingredient in the development of a healthy and loving marriage. And trust broken is most times difficult to rebuild.
According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 15% of married women and 25% of married men cheat on their spouse.
Infidelity can be caused by a range of factors; a lack of communication, an unsatisfying sex life, an unfulfilled sex drive, revenge for past infidelity, and so on.
Prevention they say is better than cure. It is very important for couples to practice open communication and express their fears and needs instead of going outside of the marriage to have their needs fulfilled, thereby breaking trust and negatively affecting the health of their marriage.
7. Difficult Children
No two kids are the same, and there is a saying that you can’t parent two kids the same. If you’re lucky you’ll have kids who are chilled, sleep at the appointed time and are easy to soothe and satisfy. Most times kids like this grow up to be calm and easy to handle.
On the other hand there are kids who are just naturally difficult to handle. They have a reactive temperament; they stay up at night as kids and grow up to become difficult children and adolescents.
Difficult children can cause stress for parents and even cause a rift within the family. But there are ways to deal with difficult children. You have to be thoughtful and consistent with your parenting and avoid comparing one kid with the other.
Don’t take your child’s behavior personally, temperament is innate, there is a huge possibility your child is not deliberately trying to make your life difficult. Don’t blame yourself, your spouse, or the child.
8. Work-Life Balance
Whether you run your own business or work a 9-5, finding a work-life balance can be hard. You know deep within you that you need to spend more time with your family, but you just can’t, because of your work responsibilities. You might even bring office work home sometimes.
How can you create work-life balance, be effective at your job or business, and also spend consistent quality time with your family?
Here are two key points that can help:
- Scheduling: Plan your day the night before and know exactly what you’re going to spend your day doing. When you set realistic expectations for yourself, and also for your kids, you’ll be in control of your time and not the other way around.
- Be at home when you’re at home: This means you should get as much work done at the office or when the kids are not at home so thoughts about work won’t distract you when you’re at home with your kids. Kids need a lot of attention, and they can sense it when you’re not giving them enough time or quality time.
9. External Influence
There are bound to be conflicts within a family and external influence is sometimes needed to settle rifts and arguments. But the disadvantages outnumber the advantages, especially if just about anybody is allowed to have an input in the affairs of a family.
External influence can come in the form of in-laws, friends, and co-workers. All families should try as much as possible to settle their differences amongst themselves through active listening and effective communication.
It can be tempting to vent to a friend or colleague instead of talking it out with your spouse, but this isn’t the best way to deal with issues. It is best to sit down with your spouse or kids and talk it out in a loving and understanding manner.
10. Disagreements on Parenting
Disagreement about parent is a major cause of arguments and even divorce in marriages. Each parent wants what’s best for the children, and their notion of what’s best isn’t the same most of the time.
One of the best ways to deal with disagreements on parenting is to talk it out. And it’s best to do this before the kids come along or as soon as they arrive. But it’s never too late; you can start seriously discussing how you’ll train your children now so you can quickly identify your differences and adjust accordingly.
Never disagree in front of the kids. Kids can quickly take note of where disharmony lies and take advantage. Let it clear to your children that you and your partner are on the same page and that you support each other’s decisions and rules.
No family is perfect, but by paying attention to common problems that might arise and addressing them properly, it’s possible to build a happy home and create a loving environment for your spouse and kids.
Communicate with your family on a daily basis, be an active listener, create a work-life balance that allows you to spend quality time with your family and reduce external influence and your family is set to take on the world and weather any storm.