Managing conflict in families is probably one of the most common challenges we all face. From sibling rivalry to money disputes and more, our families are often caught in the crossfire when two relatives have a disagreement. Although it's probably more often viewed as a normal way of life for many, it certainly doesn't have to be. Here are a few ideas of how to manage and prevent family conflict from getting out of control.
1. Have Family Meetings Often
A great way to prevent issues from arising is to plan for changes and make sure the whole family is together to discuss them before they happen. Often times a family member may get their feelings hurt if they weren't consulted or at least asked their opinion before a major change is announced. A great example of this is when the decision is made to bring in senior caregivers to help or seek outside help for a struggling loved one. Involve everyone in the conversation so they feel like they are a contributing member.
2. Don't Take Sides
Try to limit the conflict from getting further out of hand by refusing to take sides. Encourage other family members to be objective when hearing one side or the other, and always encourage reconciliation when possible. Sometimes there may simply be a miscommunication, but if other family members get involved, it may make the issue even bigger.
3. Use Technology Wisely
Consider setting up a family communication group on social media or a group text feature to include everyone. Don't allow certain family members always "be the last to know" about changes or problems that arise. This can create resentment and cause more problems later.
Think of your family as your team. If the team isn't on the same page, they can't win. This is a great reminder for us all as we navigate tricky family situations. As always, if Kind Companions can help your family in any way, please reach out.