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You can learn to resolve a family conflict!

There’s no magic formula to resolve a disagreement. But if you know how to deal with conflicts effectively, you’ll manage to build more solid relationships with other people, including your parents, siblings, or other family members. Be proactive: you’ll see that it pays off!


Basic advice

  • Choose a good time and talk about things. It may just be a simple misunderstanding.
  • Show that you’re open-minded, respectful, and interested in the other person’s opinion.
  • Talk using “I,” without accusing or judging the other person, and focus on your own emotions.
  • Question your own attitudes and behaviours, be humble, and admit what you did wrong.

Steps in resolving a conflict

  • Describe the problem. Right from the start, identify the situation that’s causing a problem and that you want to change.
  • Name your emotions. Tell the other person what you’re feeling about this problem.
  • Identify your needs. What do you want? What does this situation prevent you from having?
  • Make a concrete, negotiable request. Look for solutions, alone or with the other person. You can also write things down on a piece of paper.
  • Assess the solution with the other person. Is it realistic? Does it satisfy everyone? Will it effectively solve the problem?
  • Together, choose the solution you prefer and reach an agreement that everyone agrees to respect.
  • A little later, check to see if the agreement has been respected and the problem is solved. Take the time to talk about it and assess it. If the chosen solution didn’t work, you can try another one.

Don’t forget that sometimes it can take time to resolve a conflict. Be patient and prove yourself so that your parents will trust you!