Wednesday, 6 January 2010

dealing with disagreements or conflict

Working it out

It's OK for you to make the first move in dealing with disagreements or conflict with your parents. When you can work out your differences positively, you'll continue to have a good relationship. Here are a few tips:

* Be respectful when discussing any areas of disagreement.
* Be willing to listen to your parent's view.
* Stay calm.
* Be non-blaming, don't accuse.
* Stick to the issue - don't get side tracked into other areas.
* Use a team approach to working out problems - work at it together, think about what you want in common and work out together how you can get there.
* Use a problem solving model like this one:

1. Decide together exactly what the problem is.
2. Brainstorm the possible solutions - be open and creative.
3. Think out the consequences of each possible solution.
4. Choose one idea and do it.
5. Did it work? If so, congratulate yourself and each other. If not, go back to step 2 and try another idea.

Try out the above ideas but if it's hard to learn conflict resolution and problem solving just by reading it, see if someone can help you. It may be your school counsellor, community health worker or there may be groups running in your local area that can help.

These tools can be used in any conflict situation, not just with your parents. They can be used with grandparents, foster parents, and step-parents or residential care staff and friends. You could try some ideas and tips from our topic Conflict and negotiation.

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