A Talk on Handling Stresses in the Family at Philippine Red Cross
By: Joyce Serrato
Last June 28, Dr. Honey Carandang gave a talk to the employees of Philippine Red Cross about handling stresses in the family. She started her talk with the changes in the Filipino family. First is the feminization of global labor migration. Second, the daily stresses Filipino workers face such as increasing traffic, pollution, and bad weather. Third, economic hardship and a hectic pace of life. These three things have been causing stress in many Filipino families.
“The family is still the most powerful social unit one can ever belong to” – Dr. Honey
Since the family is a system, Dr. Honey told the participants that the entire family inevitably experiences any stress experienced by one member. Many factors contribute to family stress such as conflicts between the parents and children, and marital conflict. She continued with saying that the child is most vulnerable member of the family and is first to be affected with family stress.
Children are the barometer of the family. A child acting out can be a sign of stresses in the family. They may also serve as the tagasalo. Dr. Honey points out that noticing a child is starting to act out is better than not noticing anything. She reminds the participants that are children are wise and they need to hear that their parents are capable of solving their stresses. Children are resilient. They find creative and healthy ways of coping with changes, especially stressful ones, in the family.
What can families do?
There are many ways to handle stresses in the family. Learning how to communicate, taking care of the marital relationship, having quality family time, and enjoying the kids were some of the ways that Dr. Honey mentioned. She stressed the importance of taking care of ourselves so we can better handle stress. She reminded the participants to be always mindful of themselves, at work, and with their family.