Thursday, September 22, 2011

Resolving Family Conflicts Before They Grow

Generally speaking, conflicts are like weeds in a garden. They are much easier to deal with if you catch them when they are small. Catch family problems early, before they grow into monsters. Here are a few guidelines you’ll find useful: Usually it’s best to address a conflict immediately. Avoid putting off until tomorrow what can be taken care of today.

When you’re stressed out, occasionally it may be best to avoid dealing with a problem until you’re calmer and more rested. Just don’t put it off for too long. And don’t make waiting to deal with problems a habit.

Keep the lines of communication with your child open. When your son can freely talk to you about his fears and frustrations, he’ll be able to sidestep a lot of potential problems.

When you see trouble beginning to brew, guide your child in a more positive direction: “Joshua, let’s take your ball and play catch outside.”

Set an example by dealing with problems early on, before they become bigger and harder to handle. And do so with a positive attitude, a smile and a touch of creativity.

Assist children in finding their own solutions to little conflicts that crop up. Help them feel safe and respected. Let them know that you have faith in their abilities. As necessary, guide children in finding peaceful solutions to their conflicts, but allow them to take as much leadership as possible.

While resolving problems before they get out of hand is important with your children, you can apply the same skill in many other areas of your life. Whether the conflict arises at work, among friends or with an in-law, there are some basic points to keep in mind.

Remember that differences of opinion are normal. Try to see conflict as an opportunity for learning and growing, and look for a solution both people can live with. Instead of attacking, calmly ask questions with an open mind. Avoid blaming and stay focused on one issue at a time.

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