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How to Create Resilience in Your Family During Hard Times

Updated: Apr 16


When I posted yesterday (or the day before?)


I mentioned that I had some ideas to help our families "prepare for winter".


But first I have to tell you...


(So you have some background before I share them with you in a minute.)


Greg (my husband) and I have been talking about 'preparing'... a lot.


And we've had some discussions with our teens.


It's kind of an ongoing joke now (I'll explain)...


Last week we talked to our teens about the crisis and Greg said,


"I feel like swearing right now..."


(He NEVER swears. In fact, after 19 years of marriage, I've never heard him say anything worse than 'damn' or 'hell'...


...which aren't even swear words in Australia, as our religious Aussie friends tell us.


As for me swearing? Ahem... well, that's another story that I MIGHT share some time.) {sheepish grin}



Back to this story...


...when dad said he felt like swearing, the kids KNEW it was a big deal.


He told them, "I feel like swearing, cuz 'stuff' just got real."


He was quoting Hunt for the Wilderpeople that we watched together some weeks ago (hilarious!),


...and that's a line from it... except they actually say the 'S' word.


Anyway...


We essentially told them that because coronavirus is 'closing the earth' (as they said in their music video)...


...the global economy will be experiencing an economic downturn.


Greg said, "I wish it didn't have to happen in your lifetime. But it has.

So we better buckle up and get ready."



Back to the 'ongoing joke'...


Every day there's some new report out about what's happening 'out there' in the world...


  • $2 trillion in a stimulus package (NOT necessarily a good thing long-term if it leads to inflation Definitely not good to go further in debt. As Motley Fool said in back in 2008 (and potentially applicable):


The answer is pretty clear to anyone who's taken Econ 101 -- you can't just pull money out of a hat and not have negative consequences on the economy, such as rampant inflation and a plunging dollar. ​


We're now saddled with so much debt, on both consumers and governments, that a large part of our future work effort will end up going toward simply servicing that debt. When too much of our work day is allocated to paying for the spending of generations past, inspiration for innovation and entrepreneurship -- the things that have brought our prosperity -- go out the window.​


Etc.


I don't have to go into all of it, because you're probably reading the news yourself...


But whenever Greg reads something like that...


...he'll come out of his office and announce to the family.


"Things just got real!"


(He changed it to things instead of stuff).


And we all laugh and say,


"You say that every day now dad!".


What a good joke!



But seriously.


It's not a joke.


Things are REAL.


And like Greg shared back on March 21...


...it's probably better that some people stop pretending that all of this is like an extended vacation...

...(meaning they should stop binging Netflix just because they don't have to go to school or work.)


That doesn't mean we panic.


Because we all know that doesn't help.


But it SHOULD mean we PREPARE.


'Put on our coats for winter', metaphorically speaking.


How?


Well, here's where my ideas come in.


First, however, we have to understand two contrasting 'cultures'.


I'm not talking about customs, traditions, or different ethnicities.


I'm talking about 'family cultures'.


Let me 'splain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.



I've been learning more about the Great Depression.


They were tough years.


It was a time of family 'disorganization' and deprivation.


Teens & young adults were riding the trains or hitchhiking, looking for work.


Husbands and fathers deserted families... emotionally, if not physically:

...men often found themselves hanging around their homes, irritating their wives;

quarrels became more frequent between husbands and wives. At times, men

withdrew emotionally and even physically from their families and friends.​

Children...often remembered their fathers as emotionally distant and indifferent​...

Some deserted their wives and families altogether.​


But from a different perspective:


...another story of the family emerges -- one that emphasizes the resilience and

ability of the family to adapt in the face of adverse economic circumstances.​.. [there

was a] sense of nostalgia... a period of family togetherness and solidarity.​..

[together] families actively adapted​ to and coped [with their circumstances].


Each of these represents one of two family cultures.


The first is a family culture that falls apart during times of crisis.


Quarrels become more frequent.


One or more family members 'check out'.


Poverty and destitution are the results.


The second is a family culture that is RESILIENT.


I love this word. It's definition is:


1: able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions​​


A RESILIENT family culture sticks together.


They work together.


They find solutions (or create them).​



I can't tell you what your specific 'coat' will be to withstand this winter.


But I DO know that strengthening (or creating) a RESILIENT family culture will be a key part of making it through.


(Whether for your own sake or to help friends and family through).


That's my main idea -- develop a resilient family culture to get through the 'winter'.


So how does a family do that?


I've started a list... so far I have about 9 things (with lots more ideas of what I want to add...

...and this is BEFORE brainstorming with my husband!)


The first one or two are probably NOT what you think.


But this post is already 1000 words, so I'll dive into the 'resilient family culture' strategies tomorrow!​


Talk then!​ ​ Reach Upward & Train for Greatness!


------------------


P.S. Besides our 'coats' we also need to put on our 'grown-up' pants...


When 'stuff' gets real it's time to forget the baby steps...


...making small, incremental changes...


...and start taking 'massive action'.


Sorry, not sorry. Baby steps are for babies.

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