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Peaceful Alternatives – Building a Stronger Family Unit

Posted on Apr 19 2013 under Blog Posts

National Family Month - Blog post picNational Family Month which is recognized in the month of May“is an important step toward building a nation of confident kids and growing stronger and healthier families. The celebration was created by KidsPeace to raise awareness and underscore the importance of family. National Family Month provides an opportunity for families to share special times together, to develop or renew relationships, identify or rediscover needs and to remind everyone of the importance of family involvement in raising healthy, confident kids for America’s future.”

Since conflict is inevitable, it is vital that we are able to navigate successfully through conflict situations. This is especially important for those of us who have children in the home. The home is a place where our children will learn the basic elements for dealing with difficult situations. It is where they grow and develop; hence it is the place where they need to feel safe and nurtured. A recent study by the University of Oregon psychological scientist, Alice Graham, found that even modest levels of parental discord can have a profound and lasting effect on infants’ basic brain functions. The study also determined that infants in these types of circumstances are left ultra-sensitive to negative emotions, which translates to children with no confidence resulting from low self-esteem.

There are many types of family structures such as single-parent, adoptive parents, blended families etc. All families experience times of conflict and disagreement, and in fact a reasonable amount of conflict if dealt with constructively, is a necessary part of a healthy relationship. However, we must be aware of the developing minds of our children and the consequences of unhealthy environments. Therefore, when dealing with conflict in the home, we need to be respectful and handle situations in a manner that prevents negative effects on our children. They are the future and we must ensure that we equip them with positive tools for resolving conflicts in a peaceful manner.

Here are few tips for negotiating conflicts from the here-to-listen.com website:

1. Listen to each other
2. Speak respectfully to each other
3. Separate issues from people
4. Consider the wants and needs of yourself and others as important
5. Look for solutions that are in the best interest of the relationship
6. Be open to various solutions

If you would like to know more about National Family month, please visit KidsPeace, also please stay tuned for our upcoming May radio series When Families Collide – Constructive Conflict Interventions. We will be featuring topics such as Parenting Discipline for Toddlers to Teens: How to Avoid the ‘Countdown to Meltdown’ with Barbara Sugarman Grochal, Director of the Schools Conflict Resolution Education Program at the Center for Dispute Resolution at the UM – King Carey School of Law.

Authored by Mia Brooms
Graduate Student Intern

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