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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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Families: Nebraska's Future

Family Trouble

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Keeping Families First

Programs are available throughout Nebraska to help meet the needs of families and children


Looking at the Big Picture

Keeping Your Family First


When stresses build up in families it's important to step back and look at the "big picture." Resources such as cars, a house, tools, clothes and money are important. However, it is usually personal, family and community resources that help sustain us.

The "big picture" has much to do with the way families look at things. One family sees a situation as a problem, another sees it as a challenge. The way you look at a situation influences how you react and handle stress.

Emphasize the opportunity. Don't fight change—deal with it. Look for ways to make it work to your advantage. Be realistic about what to expect. Don't expect the worst—it often doesn't happen. Optimists not only feel better about themselves and their lives but actually manage their lives better whatever happens.

Concentrate only on events you can control. Pouring effort into events that are beyond your control will take time that is needed elsewhere.

Take a long-term view of stressful events and problems. Believing that in the long run problems will work out seems to help families endure daily hassles. Long-term family rewards are often seen as outweighing the short-term problems.

Another effective way to see the "big picture" is to reframe the situation. Reframing is seeing the good in the bad, or optimistically creating challenges from obstacles.






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