The Holidays are underway, and the weather is getting colder. With the hustle and bustle of the season, it may feel like there are moments of “tense” times in your home. Everyone is feeling it. Your kids are anxious to be done with school, Santa is watching their every move, and the decorations are reminding them of the most wonderful time of the year! You and your spouse are working hard, and try to stay on the same page, but every once and a while, you find yourself at odds.
Conflict is natural for any family unit. If done in the right way, conflict and resolution can bind your family together closer rather than tear it apart.
When feeling anxious or stressed out, take a moment to recognize that you are having that feeling. If there is someone in your home acting unusual (yelling, fighting, acting out), maybe their behaviors are trying to tell you something. It may be time for a conflict resolution!
Communication is the key to any conflict. If you and your family want to stay together, you all must commit to fighting FOR each other not WITH each other.
Below are some rules to fighting fair in your home. Print it off, share it with your family and make it a habit to keep these close in your thoughts when fights occur.
Remember, conflict is natural, use it as an opportunity to strengthen your family.
1.The basic outline of a fight should be:
a) State your gripe
b) Suggest some alternatives
c) Reach a solution
2. Fights should be held in order to reach a solution, not to gain a victory.
3. You cannot refuse a fight. If something is important enough to one member of the couple, it is worth fighting over.
4. State your “gripe” in the form of a request, not a demand. Make it a POSITIVE request.
5. Fight about one thing at a time.
6. If the fight is a question of fact, then it is your duty to get the facts
7. If the fight is a matter of opinion, you must recognize it as such and realize that a compromise is the only solution.
8. Don’t play psychologist. Don’t try to tell others what they are thinking or why they are doing something. This covers our most famous rule: DON’T ASSUME!
9. Don’t try to mind read. It’s impossible, so ask instead.
10. Don’t play archeologist. Don’t dig things up out of the past; Fight about your present gripe.
11. Don’t make speeches. State your gripe then let the other person respond.
12. If your family member states a point, you must respond to it before you can make a new one. Answer questions first.
13. NO name calling.
14. NO emotional blackmail. An example would be “If you really loved me, you would…”
15. State your gripes about behavior- not a state of being.
16. Go back to rule #1, and never forget it. Fights should be held in order to reach a solution, not gain a victory.
For more information on Family Wellness, or help with communication, contact Rimrock at 406-248-3175 or www.rimrock.org