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Individuals are not allowed to teach, diagnose or even drive a car without a license and hours of training. But, today, people can marry and become parents without any preparation whatsoever. Many families struggle, unfortunately finding so few family resources. Young couples are not given an official manual to marriage after leaving the altar and no parent leaves the hospital with a “how to” manual for a new baby.

The good news is people have been creating happy and successful marriages since the beginning of time. Also, children have been successfully raised feeling loved and fairly well-adjusted for a similar amount of time. Loving marriages and peaceful parenting are possible. But, struggling families must understand where they can find the family resources necessary to help them in their times of need.

DON’T BE AFRAID

A CALL FOR HELP

A family should develop a healthy understanding of their personal resources. Individuals need to understand what is considered “normal” and when is the time to call for reinforcements. If an individual grew up in an unhealthy environment, it may be more difficult for them to detect lack of health in their family.

If you are married or a parent and wonder whether or not you need to seek outside help, consider the following signs you need to find family resources.
  • you do not feel physically safe in your home.
  • you do not feel emotionally safe in your relationship.
  • you or your kids have to “walk on eggshells” to keep one family member from getting angry or upset.
  • there is excessive alcohol, drug use, or other addictive behaviors happening in the house.
  • you are unable to provide for the basic needs of yourself or your children.
  • fear is a part of your daily life.
  • words are often used like weapons meant to hurt instead of help.
  • you or another family member is being sexually abused or if you suspect abuse in any way.
  • physical force (hitting, biting, scratching) is used during escalating arguments.

No family is perfect. It’s ok to struggle and fight from time to time. But, if any of these behaviors accurately describe your family on an ongoing basis, consider getting help. On the other hand, here are some signs of a healthy family.

  • love, grace, and kindness are shown on a daily basis.
  • arguments happen, but don’t escalate often.
  • individuals feel physically and emotionally safe within the home.
  • family members have their basic needs met (food, clothing, shelter).
  • trust defines the family relationship.
  • Your family would consider themselves stable (emotionally, financially, physically).

4 Places to Find Help

If you are looking for family resources, consider the following places to find the help you need. Asking for help may be difficult, but staying in a dangerous and hurtful family situation is even worse. If you need help as a parent or in your marriage, make a plan to reach out this week.

FRIENDS

Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends for advice. Chance are they already notice your parenting or relational struggles. Instead of trying to hide your concerns, be open and ask for help or advice. Find friends whose marriage or parenting you most admire and ask if you could meet them for dinner to seek their advice. Meeting with close friends may not guarantee easy answers, but receiving support from a trusted friend will help you during difficult times.

THE CHURCH

The church is a wonderful source for family resources. Sunday sermons might focus on developing new behaviors. Also, as an individual develops a relationship with God, new healthy behaviors will begin grow. Besides Sunday morning, churches often offer parenting and marriage classes. Sometimes churches will even extend an invitation for counseling sessions with a pastor or mentoring opportunities. Churches are amazing sources of healthy family growth.

FAMILY

If you are struggling in your family relationship, consider seeking help from your extended family. You might feel embarrassed letting a family member know you are in need, but they might be the perfect person to offer help. There’s a good chance you have a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or older sibling you can lean into for help. Family may distinctly understand your situation and will be ready to offer you the resources you lack.

PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS

If you are feeling emotionally stuck, professional counselors are trained to offer you the resources you need to get unstuck. Counseling is not something to be ashamed of. Instead, you should feel proud that you are prioritizing relationship health and getting all the help and insight you can find. Increased insight is the foundation of building new relational behaviors. As a couple, think of a counselor like your personal professional mentor, helping your marriage grow, and giving you pointers to improve your parenting. Everyone needs a mentor in their life and for most relationships, professional counseling is a great help!

Family Resources

There are many ways you can find resources for your family. First, you need to determine if your family is in need of resources. Most times you know something isn’t right with your family. Typically, you can feel that something is broken and needs help. Once you determine this, the next step is to find the resources you need to help fix what’s broken.

Help is found in multiple places. It is up to you to reach out and take steps towards fixing your family need. Friends and family might want to help, but it is only when you ask for assistance that they will feel open to offer insight.

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