Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love. And just like a coin has two sides, just as there are day and night, good and bad; every family may have their own share of struggle. Sometimes they fight with each other and sometimes for each other. Isn’t that a part of calling someone our own? Or maybe it’s also a way to determine our individuality and choices by disagreeing with who you call your own.
In today’s world and generation, fighting for what you think is right, comes across as the first reaction. To some extent it is right but we often forget to ask ourselves that is it more about winning or conveying?
The family is our primary caregiver. Actively strengthening family bonds reinforces mutual respect. There is an ample amount of research overall on Family bonding. Family bonding time is the time a family spends together meaningfully. This is a designated time your family plans to interact with each other over a group of activities or a major fun project. Situations take a left turn when the small things we used to do, no longer suits us. There is a difference of opinion, there is lack of acceptance, one may seem to be more authoritative, someone tries to control someone else’s behaviour and choices, miscommunications, misinterpretations, and honestly, that completes the other side of the coin. And hence we like to say that every family has their own journey.
There are various forms of fights that you must have encountered or heard about. In a few families, parents fight amongst each other. If that’s not the case then, there are fights between the parents and children and also many times fights happen between siblings too. It’s normal for families to have differences and disagreements, but for some families, these arguments can become toxic.
The most common and difficult fight is when your parents fight. It might be over a small issue, the difference in perception, discarding each other choices or simply out of misunderstandings, it leads to spoiling the entire family’s mood and routine. As being a part of the family, you cannot do much about helping them as there is also a boundary, we need to maintain so that we don’t invade their privacy or end up complicating things more. Here what boundary means is that you need you be aware of how much interference is healthy and what is not. Sometimes people tend to have rigid boundaries and they feel attacked. And sometimes they have porous boundaries that make them feel taken for granted.
What’s really suggestable in such situations is to:
let the matter cool down a little and talk individually to each parent as to how they are feeling emotionally and if at all they want to even address it or not.
Never push their feelings away to tell them what’s right rather try to bring neutrality by acknowledging their feelings and helping them understand others’ feelings too.
The second kind of fight is between parents and their children. I am sure while growing up you must have experienced several instances yourself but the core belief that parents always choose the right thing, they get to determine the decision making being the elder and conflict of opinion are the core concerns a child deals with. A few other modern reasons for fights could be expectation mismatch, emotional needs not being fulfilled, financial crunch, social rules and assumptions, comparison, competition, adjustment issues, the difference in personality, space and privacy concerns, social media, etc. Children are quite opinionated and are able to work through to identify what they need in life. Mostly if this need is not congruent to their parent’s need for them, then it’s a challenge for the parties.
In such cases, communication, acceptance, adjustments and a team effort are very much required.
At the end of the day, the goal is to help someone from the family. It cannot be done by enforcing what we believe is right. It can only be done by either making them believe in what we do or by supporting them in what they believe.
The third kind of fight happens in a very unsaid way. Sibling rivalry is something if addressed at the right time can help the children understand themselves and their siblings but if not then it can take bad shape in terms of who is the favourite child? Am I not good enough? Do I also need to be good at singing but I love to play football?
And the list is endless but the consequences are self-doubt, a habit of comparison, confidence issues, fault-finding attitude, pent up hurt that might come out as anger, lack of communication, emotional baggage, etc.
To avoid this firstly, parents should make a conscious effort to not let any child feel ignored.
They must help the child to reflect on positives, strengths and appreciate their efforts to do better.
Lead by example
Punishments are also a form of reinforcements wherein if they don’t understand the reason behind it, they might turn into a rebel.
As parents, they should always try to maintain equality, in terms of preferences and gender too. In case siblings fight for a personal reason, parents should give them their space, they should make them indulge in doing a group activity, get together and do a family activity, etc.
These are small efforts in which we can avoid fights, address them and work on ourselves.
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