crisis: Disaster or Opportunity?
A family crisis is a turning point in the course of family living that requires members to change how they have been thinking and acting.
Crisis: A Turning Point
We tend to think of crisis as synonymous with disaster, but the word actually means decision in Greek language. When families go through a crisis, it helps the family members make a change on how they have been thinking and acting. Most crisis has the potential to affect the family both positively and negatively. If a family has a child who has complex medical needs, this crisis helps the family to find a new meaning for their life and as a way to accept their new circumstances. This means they accept the situation and look for a way to live with it.
The outcome from a crisis in a family depends on how they choose to define the crisis. Family support is of great importance during this time. Given the opportunities and limitations posed by society, people create their families and relationships based on the choices they make. Families find it difficult to meet crisis creatively when they are not flexible in roles and leadership.
Many family troubles are really the result of public issues. For example, the serious family disorganization that results from poverty is as much a social as a private problem. Also, most families have some handicaps meeting a crisis creatively. The typical family is under a lot of stress at all times. Providing family members with emotional security in an impersonal and unpredictable society is difficult even when things are running smoothly. Family members are doing this even while holding jobs and managing other activities and relationships. A lot of family crisis are difficult to bear because communities lack adequate resources to help families meet them. One response to this situation is to engage in community activism.
For example, families in crisis should form a group that will bring awareness to the larger community about a particular crisis that the family could be going through. Other families who may be facing the same crisis will join in and give each other support and also find ways to look for solutions and make the data known to those who are in the professional position to help. Collective action towards obtaining a needed goal by families makes it effective to meet the demands placed on them. When families act collectively towards a goal of obtaining the resources they need for effectively meeting the demands placed upon them, family adjustment can be expected to improve overall.