“You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family, an' they're still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge 'em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don't.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
As much as you love your family, there are times when you don't like them much. Situational stress can cause even the closest of relationships to be under strain.
Just as no 2 families are alike, no 2 family conflicts are alike.
There are many situations where families find it hard to get on the same page:
- We've blended 2 families and it doesn't look like the Brady Bunch.
- All we do is fight! My mom, dad and my sisters...we don't agree on anything.
- Dad is in a nursing home but we're still fighting over his belongings and what to do with his house.
- Our family has been impacted by an addiction and is having trouble communicating in order to go forward.
Conflict happens in every family. It’s normal to disagree with each other from time to time, conflict that escalates or is prolonged can be damaging to your relationships.
Your family has their own dynamics and each person in your family has their own values, views and beliefs. So what happens when your family members are not on the same page? Misunderstandings, arguments, lack of communication!
Often times mediation is a great alternative to help all of your family members have a voice and participate in creating positive change. Unlike counselling, mediation is strictly forward focused and centered on actions and decision making. Mediation helps you to communicate your needs effectively.
In mediation we will ensure that everyone understands the conflict, create a Communication & Action Plan to address it and learn some skills to help better communicate and resolve issues in the future.
Although these plans often can't be enforced they are a guide for your family. Issues, needs and consequences are clearly defined and supported by each member of your family. Getting this buy in is a contributing factor to the success of your family relationships going forward.