By: Krystle Crossman
Every family has conflict. Children will do something that their parents don’t like or parents will do something that children don’t like. This can result in negative feelings that stick with the child. One 10 year old boy said that he says things about the rules that his mother lays out that he doesn’t like sometimes and she will take away his toys and he said that is made him mad. Later when he tries to apologize to her she is still mad and he says that stays with him. This is one of the problems with arguments between family members. There needs to be a period of healing and reconciliation or else negative feelings will continue to linger.
Kenneth Barish, Ph.D., who is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology with the Well Medical College of Cornell University, says that every parent should set aside just ten minutes per day to discuss with their children any turmoil that they are feeling. Make sure that you listen to everything that your child says and let them know that they are being heard, even if it is something that you don’t like hearing. This is an important part of conflict resolution.
Apologizing is a good way to show your child that you are wrong sometimes too. If you got mad at them earlier in the day and perhaps let it go on a little longer than it should have, you should apologize to them. Take responsibility for your emotional outbursts as well. Make sure that you follow the apology with an explanation of what it was that made you angry in the first place and letting them know that it was not appropriate behavior.
By setting aside these ten minutes per day to talk to your child and get a better understanding of how they are feeling you will be able to gain their respect and still establish authority. You children will eventually learn that they can come to you with their problems instead of lashing out and negative feelings can be resolved much faster.