Practical tips to allay tension in today’s families
Every family has run into times when conflict between parent and child arises. It’s normal and expected. Here are four tips to help you resolve conflicts fairly:
A strong bond in any familial relationship is based on trust, compassion and communication (cover-pix)
A willingness to admit your own role in the conflict. Parents have been known to point fingers without acknowledging their own contribution to the dispute.
The desire to work things out. If you want to find a win-win situation, it’s likely that you eventually will. But if your only goal is to control your child, you’ll only find increased conflict.
A focus on the present and future. Avoid bringing up the past; stick with the topic at hand. Aim for a more peaceful future.
A commitment to listening. Commit yourself to listening even when it’s painful. Decide to distinguish between anger and disrespect in a child’s tone of voice; forbid the latter, but acknowledge the former.
Once you have established those parameters, interaction between child and parent should be easier. The following steps are helpful in further clarifying and solving the situation:
Clearly define the issues. Without getting lost on tangents, identify the problem and work on that.
Let the other person speak without interrupting. If it will help you listen better, keep a piece of paper handy to jot points down so you won’t forget them.
Create solutions. Listing all the pros and cons of each potential solution during your brainstorming is often helpful and can clarify the options.
Agree on solutions. Sometimes this means not following through on the solution that either the child or the parent originally felt was correct. You can come up with a third course that combines both your preferences.
Write down the agreement and have all concerned parties sign it. This will help avoid confusion or misunderstandings later.
This article was published with permission from Focus on the Family Malaysia. If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources at: www.family.org.my