Fremont Area Medical Center

SUM 2013

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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F A M I L Y S T Y L E Facing a major life change as a family By Steph Thompson C SHUTTERSTOCK hange is part of life, but sometimes the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or even just a move across town can throw a family off track. How do you steer everyone back to normal? First things first: Talk about it. "The most important thing for families to do at times of crisis is to communicate so everyone knows they're not alone through the change," says Dr. Dauda Griffin, a psychiatrist affiliated with WellStar Health System, Marietta, Ga. Sit down together and discuss how you can all work together to move forward and handle the new situation. "Flexibility is crucial so you don't get stuck, just wishing things hadn't changed," says Dr. Griffin. For example, after a job loss, a family could agree to eat out less often or buy fewer new clothes for a while. POSITIVE PARENTING Dr. Kolin Good, a psychiatrist with Reading Health System in Reading, Pa., agrees that it's crucial to first acknowledge the family is going through a bad time. "But it's important to quickly focus on what can be done to find strength and overcome those bad events," says Dr. Good. "Try to find a positive meaning from the trauma and show how the family can rise to the challenge." Parents need to take the lead in offering positive solutions, no matter how difficult it might seem. This could be a good time to seek therapeutic counseling or take advantage of community or religious leaders as a source of strength. "Focusing on what you can do to help others in the family { This could be a good time to seek therapeutic counseling or take advantage of community or religious leaders as a source of strength. cope with change is helpful not only for them, but for yourself," says Kerry Minnis, manager of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services at Franciscan St. Francis Health, Indianapolis. STAYING STRONG Dr. Shirley Taylor, a clinical psychologist affiliated with Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., adds that "it is up to parents to help kids find ways to comfort themselves and to help them see that everything will be OK." Part of that is determining to what extent to share detailed information, such as the depth of money struggles or the exact reasons that have led up to a divorce. "Children can feel panicked, or be afraid of being abandoned, or blame themselves, but parents can be honest without oversharing about things out of kids' control," explains Dr. Taylor. "And they can send the clear message that 'Together, we will get through this. We are strong.'" • w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m S U M M E R 2 013 SPI RIT O F WOM EN 9

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