It’s amazing how people who grew up under the same roof can have different likes, goals, and personalities. Take children and their parents, for instance. No matter how close your family is, there will come a time when conflicts will arise. This usually happens once kids develop their own personalities, now have their own interests, and have opinions different from the rest of the family members. But remember that your differences are what makes your family unique.
Interestingly, conflicts are actually healthy for any relationship. Sometimes, disagreements can serve as signals that there is a need for one or both parties to change. When you are willing to resolve conflicts, it shows how much you respect each other’s feelings, and that you’re willing to change and compromise just to maintain equilibrium in your relationship.
Note that parents should always be the ones setting the tone in a home. It is the adult’s responsibility to teach kids early on how to resolve conflicts the healthy way. You should be the one teaching your kids how to negotiate, be mindful of other people’s feelings, and learn how to compromise.
Here are a few secrets every parent can do to handle family conflicts:
Always Practice Give and Take
Children can’t simply expect their parents to be passive spectators. While the kids are under your wing, you are responsible for making the biggest decisions that will affect their life. But remember that parents should only do so until the time the kids are of legal age to make their own decisions.
Accept the fact that your kids are their own person. You will have different values, opinions, and beliefs. They will develop interests that you may find boring simply because of your differences in age and generation.
One common reason for family conflicts is when kids are about to go to college. Choosing a major is never an easy decision to make. This becomes a trickier situation since parents are often still involved in the decision-making.
Kids will only struggle to finish a degree they have no interest in. They can end up being miserable their whole life and have resentment against their parents. There are things you can do to practice give and take when once a decision is due for your children’s college education.
For instance, one of your kids wishes to be a graduate of a BA program in Psychology. If your children are set on taking their passion, you can discuss the pros and cons of them pursuing their desired degree, if there jobs available for their desired course, and if whether you can afford their education or not. If money is an issue, you can try looking for other financing options while your kids can think of ways, so they can help pay for their education.
You can share your take on what careers are good to take while giving your kids the pros and cons of pursuing their careers. Practical parents may force their kids to take a course they can realistically afford. But you can always give and take by looking for other options where you can satisfy the wants of both parties.
When Emotions Start Running High, Bite Your Tongue
It is very easy to talk when your emotions are high. But if you let all your emotions do the talking, you can end up saying things you never meant in the first place. When one party starts becoming emotional, choose to stop and think about what you need to say before you say it.
Tongue biting already helped saved many relationships in the past it allows both parties to calm down and think things through before resuming the discussion. Allow both parties to blow off some steam and do a bit of reflecting before talking again. Doing this will help you think things through instead of letting emotions cloud your judgment.
Know When to Apologize
Showing your kids you are willing to apologize when you are at fault shows you respect their feelings and recognize your shortcomings. It can be hard to say sorry to someone that is younger than you. But you shouldn’t let age determine who deserves respect, let alone your apology if you are the one who did something wrong.
Even if your intentions are good, you can end up hurting your kids or spouse. So, make sure you keep communications open and be willing to listen and empathize with their feelings. A simple but sincere apology is often enough to resolve a conflict.
How you handle conflict within the family can impact the way your kids will deal with disagreements in the future. This can influence how they handle conflicts with their friends, classmates, other people, and even their own family in the future. Be careful about what examples you set for your kids. Choose to improve your relationships by keeping family conflicts healthy.