The 5 Most Common Family Issues And How To Deal With Them
Would it be safe to say that when you walked down the aisle to marry the person of your dreams you thought your family would a perfect fairy tale and not have any problems. You would have 2 ½ kids, live in the perfect neighborhood, and definitely would not have the same family problems you had as a kid.
It probably wasn’t long before that fairy tale bubble was popped, and issues started to creep in. The truth is you are not alone and every family experiences problems. Once you realize there is no happily ever after ending, you will be ready to deal with each situation as it arises.
If you are currently suffering from family problems that you can’t find your way through, then you are not alone. Everyone suffers through their share of issues when living in a family. Every person (even your perfect kids and perfect spouse) has their flaws but for the good news is the issues you are facing are extremely common.
Every family has issues and the sooner we realize that there is no ‘perfect happy ending’ to any story, the better we will be at handling each situation.. Also every person has flaws and so does every family. But the problems you are facing are very common even if you think you have got the worst scenario of all. You will realize that some issues happen along life’s journey, but there are many ways to handle those issues.
These are the five most common family problems that we have had to deal with and I will share how you can handle them.
Make sure you read the rest of this article to learn how to handle family issues…
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#1 How To Raise Kids
You were raised differently than your spouse so you will certainly have disagreements on how to raise the kids. Once you decide to have kids then you will have to decide how to discipline them, where they will go to school, what activities they will be involved in, along with a litany of other things.
According to EmpoweringParents.com disagreement in any marriage is expected and therefore you must learn how to parent as a team so you are the same page regarding how you will raise your child. Unity with your spouse is the most important element in addressing your child’s behavior problems, even if you disagree.
The truth is kids know when their parents aren’t united regarding decisions on discipline. This absence of unity can create anxiety for the kid(s) because they are unclear about the what the rules are and what they can and cannot do. Now this anxiety can cause further behavioral issues.
#2 Lack of Proper Communication
Communication is the basic building block of our relationships. According to a publication by the University of Delaware, “It is through communication that we convey our thoughts, feelings, and connection to one another.”
When there is miscommunication among family members, a lot of things go wrong. That’s why developing good communication skills is critical for successful relationships, whether parent, child, spouse, or sibling relationship. For many communication is something that does not come naturally and takes practice and effort if we want to do it well.
Therefore, we must teach our kids how to communicate in order to for them to learn how to express themselves clearly and how to listen to others. For the most part children learn the best by communicating with us and by watching how adults communicate with each other.
Finally, when it comes to family communication the challenge is:
More people = More Complex Communication.
There is a greater opportunity for conflict to arise with more people, there are more opportunities for communication—and therefore a greater possibility for conflict to arise. Also families are challenged with considering the needs and wants of all family members so naturally conflicts will arise.
Now to deal with family communication issues some realities must be understood.
- Every family members needs will not be met all the time.
- Compromises need to be made in order to find a solution.
- Produce “win/win solutions” instead of concentrating on others needs or wants
Some ways to come up with “win/win” solutions are as follows:
- Listen and consider each family members request and opinions.
- Produce new solutions to the problem that will resolve the conflict.
- Review all possible solutions/ideas and discuss each one.
- Finally vote on the best solution.
There are better fights that clear the air and then, there are bad ones ruining the environment for everyone. These sort of fight cracks up the relationships, and are so frustrating as well.
Sometimes, in a relationship, it is all about how you are arguing instead of what you are arguing about. There are better fights that clear the air and then, there are bad ones ruining the environment for everyone.
These sort of fight cracks up the relationships, and are so frustrating as well. Sometimes, in a relationship, it is all about how you are arguing instead of what you are arguing about.
#3 Technology Distractions
There is so much to say on this topic that I have blogged about it already from the viewpoint of the parents being distracted. The title is “Are Parents More Distracted Than Their Kids? How Technology Is Hindering Parents”.
There is a ton of research in this area that speaks for itself especially from Common Sense Media that indicates how kids are addicted to technology and how it is impacting them. According to their research one out of every two teens feels addicted their device, and the 59% of parents feel that their kids are addicted. Due to this addiction we have seen a 35% increase in bullying and a decrease in empathy according to Cyberbullying Research Center.
Another study by the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, states that parents’ use of technology may not only be robbing families of learning opportunities, but it is also causing negative interactions as well as internal conflicts and tension in the home.
This is not a surprise since it is estimated that parents use of mobile devices (smartphones, wearables, and tablets) is up to three hours a day or more according to Michigan Medicine research.
What it comes down to is Parents need to be good role models. Remember your kids are watching you and how much time you use technology. In fact, some informal studies by Pew Research suggest that most kids would prefer their parents to turn off their technology.
A couple of things you can try are…
Create A Technology Container
Put a container in the kitchen or by the door where your family comes in and out. When they come home they have to put their devices in the container. They can have their device back when all homework is done, dinner is finished, and chores are complete, or whatever rules you want to establish. This is a great way to limit distractions during crucial family communication time.
Make media viewing a family event.
For example, if your kids like watching a particular YouTuber, then watch some of their content with them. Once you have watch a few you can then have a conversation about it and what was good and what was maybe not so good. This approach helps you connect with your kids while teaching them think about what they are consuming.
#4 Consistently Fighting all the Time
There are constructive type of fights that can be beneficial to help clear the air but then, there are bad ones that ruin the atmosphere for everyone. These types of fights can cause significant relational issues between family members especially if they frequently happen and emotions are high where yelling and screaming has taken place.
Whether or not you are part of the fighting, you may have feelings of anger, sadness or even embarrassed when family members yell and scream at each other. There are some methods you can use to have a calm, civilized discussion with your family about your issues. If you need extra help, consider calling in a mental health professional for guidance.
Here are some tips for navigating family fights and resolving them in a healthy manner…
Calm Down Emotions
It’s easy to get emotionally fired up when your family is fighting. According to Kidshealth.org if you feel like you might yell or explode, take a walk around the block and use this time to calm down and get them under control. Once you exercised self-control you can start constructing your feelings into thoughtful words now. No matter who you’re talking to, doing it in a calm manner will go much better than yelling or screaming.
Call A Family Meeting
Another way is to call a family meeting and give everyone in the family a chance to speak. By doing so according to helpguide.org, everyone feels like they get a say in the matter. If someone is being dramatic or maybe lying do not interrupt them. When it’s your turn to talk, you can address what is troubling you.
This approach takes some emotional intelligence and isn’t easy, especially if someone is saying things that make you upset. But, if you let everyone else talk, they’ll be more inclined to hear what you have to say as well.
#5 Balancing Home and Work-Life
With the advancement in technology the boundaries between home and work-life have become extremely blurred. Technology has been an enabler for constant connection to work and there seems to be no way to stop it.
The Mayo Clinic says the we need to consider the cost of being married to work and having a poor work-life balance. The consequences are the following:
- Fatigue – When you’re tired your ability to productively work is decreased.
- Poor health – The stress can make any exist medical conditions worse and also put you at risk of substance misuse.
- Lost time with friends and loved ones – You end up missing important family events if you are working all the time which can harm relationships with those you love.
Striking a better work-life balance can be an ongoing battle but by setting boundaries you can realize the work-life balance that is best for you and your family. If you don’t set some boundaries, then work will end up consuming you and leave you with no time your friends and family or activities you enjoy.
Some strategies you can try are:
- Set expectations with your manager – Get aligned on expectations for when you can disconnect. Be clear when you will and will not be available.
- Manage your time – Look over and set your schedule and don’t overschedule yourself.
- Say “no.” – Don’t accept meetings or tasks because you feel obligated or guilty. This will help focus on the critical tasks and also reduce time wasted in non-productive meetings.
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