Helpful Ways to Reduce Family Conflict
When in a heated moment, make a decision for everyone to step away from the conflict for a set period, then to come back together at a certain time to work it out.
Always use active listening skills, for example, repeat back what you’re hearing to make sure you are comprehending what the others are communicating.
Communicate directly (not with your actions, sarcasm, or through another family member) about your feelings and experiences in the family or with a particular family member without using language that attributes responsibility to another person for your reaction. Be clear about what you would like to see change and avoid lecturing.
Choose appropriate times to have conversations where the parties involved have time or seem in the most optimal mood to have the discussion. Try picking a time when you are feeling calm and the family members are most likely to be receptive.
Ask for feedback from members about how they might like to solve the problem and reward each other for the progress you all make. Rewarding each other would hopefully lead to better future communication and behavior.
Here’s a 5 step problem solving model
- Identify the problem. Everyone involved shares his/her view.
- Brainstorm solutions. All ideas are written down without comments.
- Review the ideas and pick one. Parents keep veto power.
- Do it.
- Evaluate it. Did it work? If yes, yay! Reward yourselves for a job well done. If not, return to step 3 (or 2 if necessary).