Welcome to Family Fridays, where we discuss the importance of reconnecting with your family. In the hustle and bustle of the digital age, finding a moment of peace and quiet is so hard to come by. It can be easy to simply hand our kids technology rather than engaging in real-world activities that challenge their minds and engage their spirits. Each month, we’ll look at new and exciting activities that you can do with your family to re-engage and reconnect!
Having conflict with your family is an unfortunate part of life. No matter how close your bond is as a family, there is always room for disagreements to occur between even the people who are closest to you.
In this edition of Family Fridays, we’re tackling the issues surrounding conflict resolution within the family. Though disagreements are a natural part of life, there are things that you can do as an individual and as a family to nip conflict in the bud before it really gets out of hand.
- Find the source of the conflict. Conflict can start over just about anything! Whether it is something trivial like the TV channel or sitting in the passenger seat of the car, to more serious things like a new baby in the house or a teenager becoming a young adult, conflict needs to be identified before it can be resolved.
- Define the problem and stick to the topic. When navigating the conversation to work out the source of the problem, it can be easy to get off track and allow for other underlying family issues to bubble up to the surface accidentally. This not only leads to a lot of heartbreak (and maybe some unkind words that people do not really mean) but also distracts from the original conflict that needs to be solved. Stay focused.
- As an adult, don’t pick a side. Staying neutral is so important. If someone feels like they are on the wrong side of the argument often enough, they’re more likely to become resentful in future conflicts and be less likely to want to agree to a compromise.
- Talk reasonably and clearly. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Letting your feelings or past pettiness get the best of you is only going to lead to more people getting hurt than there needs to be.
- Ask questions and try to understand both sides. Even if you already have an idea in mind as to who is right in the situation, listen to what both parties have to say about the situation. It helps everyone involved to feel validated in the fact that they are, indeed, being heard and that their concerns are not falling on deaf ears.
- Come up with numerous possible solutions. There is often more than one answer to a question, and there is even more likely to be more than one solution to a conflict. Explore all the possibilities of what can be done to improve the situation and listen to the concerns of each party before making a final call.
- Make a ‘contract.’ Contracts are important legal bindings for a reason. They help lay everything on the table so that there is no room for loopholes or later disagreements down the line. Lay out everything that was talked about and have everyone sign off, saying they understand what was discussed and make a plan for moving forward.
Conflict stinks, no matter where in your life it occurs. However, with the right attitude, plan and mindset, even the most difficult of situations can be ironed out to make a better plan moving beyond it.
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