No matter how much you look forward to the family being together at holiday times and weekends, it does increase the potential for tensions and arguments. To help avoid those arguments our family counsellors have come up with their top tips on reducing family rows.
Show that you're listening
One of the best things you can do as a parent it to make sure you acknowledge every demand a child has. For example, if your child asks “Can we go to the cinema?” just saying no – is likely to get a repeat of the question or a sulk but saying “I’m glad you like going to the cinema, but I'm not sure if we can go today because” demonstrates you have listened and valued their feelings.
Think about how you communicate
Sometimes when you want to have a quiet talk with your partner and it seems as though there's always children around, parents often find themselves giving short sharp exchanges to each other. Also the language you use can create misunderstandings. For example if one parent says “I need to talk to you” the other parent may get worried – so always be sure to give a clue about what you need to talk about, and then agree when you can have that chat.
Use a code word
Try to find a code word that either of you (or the children) can say out loud when an argument is getting out of hand. This often diffuses the tension, and sends the message that whatever the argument is about, it will not be resolved in that moment. Each family could have a code word that is only known to them.
Squabbling children can test the best of us. It can help to consider whether the argument is caused by boredom. Energy that has no outlet, or not enough, often erupts into meaningless fights in children.
Sending them to their rooms isn’t quite the punishment it used to be, so before the squabbling gets bad try to make sure that the children have plenty to do and plenty of ideas about how to spend their time. The ideas don’t have to come from you – a bit like planning your day and your time, children (depending on their age) are often capable of planning their own time.
Allow everyone a bit of space
Make sure that any family member gets space when they need it. When pressured into doing things they don’t want to, every family member needs the opportunity to opt out – as long as they understand there will be an effect on others.
Remember, not all arguments are unavoidable and not all arguments are bad. In fact, it's good for children to see that disagreements can be resolved and discussed calmly, so don’t give yourself too much of a hard time if sometimes tempers get frayed.
How we can help
One Session Therapy is a solution focused, one off appointment, which can help you navigate through these feelings, process what has happened and discuss how to move forward from an argument that keeps coming up, either in your own time or with further Therapy.
Finding ways to communicate after a lot of arguments or disagreements takes time. One Session Therapy equips you with tools to communicate effectively, set boundaries, and work towards understanding eachother, either on your own, or with one other person.
Ready to move forward and take steps to argue better, or argue less? Book a One Session Therapy session with us to speak with a counsellor at a time that works for you and take the first step in resolving the problem you’re facing.
How you can help
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