All families experience times of conflict. As long as these times are managed wisely and resolution is achieved, family conflict is nothing to be concerned about. However, if conflict occurs frequently, usually turns into something resembling World War 3 or you are generally unable to reach a satisfactory outcome, it is vital to find the causes of your conflicts and determine to deal with them come what may.
With Christmas just around the corner and family conflict often reaching absolute crisis point at that time of year, I thought I'd post the following for you just as a little reminder:
Some years ago I heard about research (involving close to 20,000 families) that was conducted in an effort to discover what people believe constitutes a strong family.
The 6 major qualities were identified as follows:
- Appreciation and affection
- Effective communication
- Quality time spent together
- Successful stress and crisis management
- Spiritual unity
A few hints on how this might work:
* A promise and decision of significance and lasting value.
* Hanging in there when the going gets tough.
* Walking life’s journey together through thick and thin.
* Supporting family members when they are having a rough time.
Appreciation and affection are:
* Caring deeply for all family members and expressing this frequently.
* Showing family members through our actions how much they mean to us.
* Being available to and showing respect for all family members in good times and in bad.
* Physical demonstrations our love.
Effective communication is:
a two-way street that has a number of components. It requires an ability to verbalise our thoughts and feelings in a non-threatening way and a willingness to listen in a way that lets others know they’ve been heard and understood. It requires an openness to others’ experience, an ability to acknowledge their opinions (whether we share them or not), a tolerance for differences and, last but not least, the courage to deal with conflict. These components can be specified as follows.......
Quality time spent together:
We spend time with whom and on what we value. A thousand words won’t be as effective as quality time spent together...
Spending time with our family says: “I enjoy your company”, “I want to be with you”, “You are more important to me than my golf buddies” If, however, they – or anything/anyone else - take precedence over our loved ones and usually come first, the message our family receives is loud and clear and it’s a very painful message – others matter more!!
Remember: “Families who play together, stay together!”
Successful stress and crisis management:
None of us can escape the stresses of the world we live in, but some families deal much better with them than others. Families that manage stress more effectively are usually headed by a couple who:
* Have a strong and committed relationship.
* Have strong values.
* Are good role models for their children.
* Have firm, but flexible family boundaries.
* Have realistic expectations.
* Have good conflict resolution skills.
Spirituality can be a great bonding agent. Spirituality, whilst meaning different things to different people, usually is focused on a power that is greater than us. Spending time together in discussing, exploring and communing with our Higher Power can be a great foundation for family unity. It can be the basis of our value system and provide the guidelines by which we lead our families.
Please remember that:
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