Making Decisions and Coping Well with Drought


Drought, like other natural disasters, costs individuals and families an incredible amount of worry, concern, stress, and money. Some farm and ranch families have to make agonizing decisions about selling prized cattle that three or four generations of their families worked hard to develop because they do not have the resources to feed them anymore.


Quick Facts


  • There are at least three ways families can make decisions in their family meetings – autocratically, democratically, and by consensus.
  • Reaching consensus is useful with major family decisions. However, it may be too
    time consuming to use with smaller decisions where an autocratic or democratic decision-making strategy can suffice.
  • When one person has all the power in decision-making others may feel discounted or disenfranchised.
  • Intergenerational families that use a consensus decision-making strategy show improved family functioning, family satisfaction, self-esteem, and family coping levels.