Conflict is an inevitable part of relationships-especially with family. If we can learn what it means to fight fair, we can change some of the negative narratives around conflict. In my work with teenagers and their families, there are a few main fighting rules we work on.
First, avoid using the word “You”.
When there’s conflict, focus on using “I” statements that describe how something made you feel.
Avoid using “You” as it can sound accusatory.
For instance, “I felt criticized during our fight” rather than “You always criticize me when we fight”. It sounds simple, but we often forget to use “I” statements
Second, listen in order to understand.
Don’t just hear what your teenager is saying- truly listen. Hear out their side of the conflict and then share your point of view.
Third, stop talking first.
After things reach a point where both parties are upset, stop talking first.
By this time, your teenager has already stopped listening. Resist the temptation to lecture and get the last word in. Take a break and make it a priority to come back later and discuss the issue. Repair is important.
If you find yourself repeating these patterns without change, we would love to help. Give us a call at Cedar Tree.
Our Best Ideas On:
Relationships, Connecting, & Family Dynamics
Sign up for "Rooted" our Free Newsletter.
Our best advice to help you nourish deep connections in your family right to your inbox!
Back to school is usually a time filled with excitement and anticipation both for parents and kids. But as summer draws to an end this year, parents and children nationwide are facing uncertainty and a whole new set of expectations for the coming school year due to...
From the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak the information surrounding the virus and how best to prevent it has been overwhelming. How infectious is it? Who is most at risk? How is it transmitted? These are common questions with uncertain answers. It’s this...
A lot of couples are finding it difficult to cultivate good connections with each other during this Covid-19 crisis. After all, we’re together almost constantly, but not finding many opportunities for quality interactions. Many people are feeling the emotional toll...
Cedar Tree's Mission:
There are a lot of broken families who struggle to do life well together.
That’s why we help families create an environment where deeper connection & healing can happen.