A family problem or issue is a situation that does not have an easy solution. There are numerous sources of family issues; these family problem causes and their solutions are not often easy and straightforward. The effects of family problems can also be disastrous, particularly on children. However, the first step to cope with a family problem is to believe there is a solution and look for it together as a family. A basic grasp of solving family problems can help you prevent many potential issues from arising and could even resolve other difficulties. While there are no easy ways to cope with family problems, the following 10 ways can help:
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1. Write down 2-3 possible solutions
Writing down the important possible solutions is one of the most effective ways to cope with family problems. The next step is to pick the most important solution that will eliminate the problem from the root. This basic step can also help reinforce decision making as a family.
2. Use negotiation
Negotiation is one of the important strategies to cope with a difficult family member. Negotiation can be done using effective communication. Sit down and talk as a family about habits or behaviors of a particular member that may be affecting the other members of the family. Talk calmly and openly.Do not get into a conflict mode which will cause the member to withdraw or deny. Good negotiation involves give and take- so do not promise what you cannot deliver and be aware of the fact that you may not get all that you want.
3. Remember words have power
Words influence belief and belief influences action. Use your words carefully. This is easily the most important aspect of dealing with family issues. Words are also easily the possible causes of most family problems. When one member of the family is particularly forceful, the other members may be coerced into doing what s/he says.
4. Listen more
Many potential decision making traps can be avoided by listening well. Apart from listening, many other skills can help solve family problems including avoiding blaming the other person/s, consulting and collaborating and also expressing mutual agreement prior to enacting important decisions.
5. Establish ground rules
Family conflicts arise when there are no ground rules. When each family member starts to seek personal gains, then there will be chaos and conflict every time. Set a decision making authority to make decisions.
6. Develop a plan
In most cases, circumstances are the major causes of family problems. So decide as a family about the plan of action to deal with a particular problem. If, for example, you are having financial issues, then you must set up a family budget. This will help you work towards a common goal and reduce stress.
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Acceptance is an essential part of coping with difficult family issues. Agreed that even closest of all family members can have difference in opinions. Even the closest of partners may not agree upon everything. When you agree that you cannot agree on everything, you will be in a better position to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
8. Get help
If talking and negotiating do not work, then the best thing to do is to seek counseling from a reputed counselor. In case of divorce or death, this is especially beneficial as one cannot deal with all the problems alone. You could seek relationship counseling, family counseling or even marriage counseling. In case of kids, you could seek help from the school counselor. Mediation, workshops, group therapy, one-on-one sessions, problem solving courses can all help in this matter.
9. Try to do things together as a family
No matter how hard this may seem in face of a family issue, you must try and have some fun time together. Go on a trip, or simply find an activity which you all enjoy doing. This will bring you closer.
10. Stick together
Supportive families have fun together and also face tough times together. This will create a healthy, loving environment which is conducive for growth. People who live in supportive families are more likely to feel healthier, happier and more satisfied with life. This will also reflect in their performance at work and school.
All families go through tough times. Having a conflict once in a while is normal, but if the family issue becomes too overwhelming, it may be time for an intervention. Common effects of family problems include angry outbursts, frequent arguments and even avoidance or physical conflicts. If this is what you are facing, you must seek therapy or counseling as a group or for the individual.