Inevitably, if more than one person is living in your house at some point in time, there will be arguments. The trick is to learn how to handle household arguments effectively while maintaining loving relationships. Amazingly, many people treat complete strangers better than they treat their own spouse or children. As important as it is to treat others well, it's more important to treat those you love even better. Here are some communication tips that can help your family avoid arguments.
1Always Be Gentle
Try to control the tone of your voice, the look on your face, and your body language, when you're talking with family members. If you speak with a gentle tone, arguments are less likely to start. Repeat what the other person is saying, so there's no doubt about their intended meaning.
The best way to handle arguments at home is to avoid them in the first place. How do you do this? Avoid miscommunication. Resolve not to fight over misunderstandings.
2Maintain Trust Within The Family
Develop a solid relationship with your spouse and children by keeping lines of communication open. Build trust between all family members. Give each other the benefit of the doubt.
3Respect Each Other's Privacy
Keep your disagreements strictly between the parties involved. Never discuss these disagreements in the open. This also means that you must avoid arguing in front of your children.
4Stop When The Argument Gets Worse
Time out! Stop the argument if it becomes a shouting match with one insult after another. Ask for five minutes to think about what's already been said. This will give both parties a chance to calm down and regain their composure.
5Be Willing To Accept You May Be Wrong
During the timeout, did you realize you were in the wrong? Listen to the other person's side of the story before you assert your own innocence. You may have said or done something unknowingly that hurt the other person.
6Apologize If You're Wrong
Be sure to express remorse over your part in the problem. Try not to do it again. Ask the other person to forgive you.
Once the situation has been resolved, forgive one another and forget about the whole thing. Determine not to bring the situation up again. It's over; let it go.
7Determine If The Other Person Is Hurting
Is someone hurting? Realize that the other person may be hurt in some way, but it may be expressed through anger, tears, or insults. By arguing, they may actually be reaching out for help or support.
8Consider Hormonal And Health Issues
Consider how the other person's gender may be playing a role in the argument. Perhaps, a woman's monthly cycle is causing her to be overly emotional. Maybe, one person has been ill and is really striking out at others just because they feel bad.
9Have A Loving Heart
Above all, love! Remember that no matter what the argument is about, you love the other person. Your goal should be to come to a solution where both parties win.
10Avoid Comparing Your Children
Children are individuals and should be treated that way. Be sure to let your children know how special they are. Never compare them.
11Establish Rules And Responsibilities
Household rules and responsibilities will let family members know what's expected of them. Include rules about how they should treat one another. Let them know that hitting and name-calling are off-limits in your home. Decide as a family, what the consequences will be if anyone breaks the rules.
12Give Each Child Your Attention
Many disagreements between children are based upon trying to get their parent's attention. If you reinforce to each child that they're special and that you love them, they'll have less reason for arguing. They will have more reason to dwell in the family's love.
In the long run, each person in the family makes the decision to argue or not. If you decide that you won't be dragged into an argument, the argument will often end of its own accord. The above tips are not the only ways to effectively handle household arguments, but they may be enough to make the arguments less frequent, so your family feels more secure, loved, and peaceful.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."