It would be great if all family members had the same beliefs and views, but this rarely happens. It is these different views that often cause family conflict. Whether it is two adults in a marriage, siblings, or parents and children, conflict among family members is usually considered normal. But what happens when the conflict becomes unmanageable? Is there a way to reduce it and to prevent things from spiraling out of control? In this article we will look at some of the most common causes of family conflict and how to deal with them in a healthy way.
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The Most Common Causes of Family Conflict
Couples will often become quite stressed over money problems, particularly if struggling to pay bills or put food on the table. Arguments can also occur over money if one partner is more frugal than the other. This is a common occurrence in new relationships or marriages where one person spends extravagantly while the other prefers to save money.
Money can also be a source of conflict between siblings or between parents and children. Children might become aggrieved if they feel their parents have not given them their fair share while siblings can argue, for example, over who should pay for the care of aging parents.
Couples can also argue over interference from parents. For example, if an in-law oversteps their boundaries in terms of grandchildren and how they are brought up, this can cause a daughter- or son-in-law to take umbrage and the couple might then argue over this.
Different Parenting Styles
Couples often argue about how to bring up the children. One parent might have a stricter style of parenting while the other might be more lenient. These different views can result in clashes between the couple and can be a cause of constant conflict.
When a couple decides to get divorced, things can become quite stressful, particularly if the divorce is not amicable. The couple might argue over custody of the children and financial matters. Divorce can cause conflict between the couple but also the children and other family members.
How to Deal with Family Conflict
When conflict arises, it is common for people to shout in order to have their voices heard. Anger makes it difficult to hear what the other person is saying, and the idea of a peaceful resolution can be the farthest thing from their minds.
However, according to the experts at Psych Blossom, family conflict doesn’t have to mean all-out war. There are ways to resolve it and prevent it from becoming a massive issue that threatens to tear the family apart.
The first thing to do is to take a step back and remove yourself from the situation. When tempers are flaring, there is a real risk that you might say something you will regret later. When you have calmed down, think about the argument and ask yourself if it is really something worth fighting about. Remember that your goal should be to resolve the issue and not think of more ways to enforce your point or essentially ‘win’ the argument.
Take the time to listen to what your family member is saying and then ask that you be able to speak your mind too. If you agree to listen to each other and you still cannot agree, then try to find a common ground or agree to disagree.
To conclude, family conflict occurs for many reasons, and it is completely normal. However, if allowed to spiral out of control, it could result in family members not speaking for years. Learning to communicate and listen to each other’s views is the key to keeping conflict under control.