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BellaOnline's Mental Health Editor

Conflict Resolution for Families

As the holiday season kicks into high gear, so do plans to reunite with relatives. In How to Prevent Family Conflict, I outlined how to use mindful self-awareness to avoid conflict. Because good intentions and self-care arenít always enough, here I offer ways to handle and repair conflict. I also urge you to consider new perspectives on old family roles and patterns to evaluate whether they still fit with your values and goalsó or if itís time for a change.

Okay, so you assembled your toolkit and implemented your peaceful plan. Nevertheless, you find yourself in the midst of an argument or upsetting situation... maybe even one youíve replayed in your family for years. Now what?

Repair and Recover

Take the Long View

The Choice Is Yours

Family change can take time, and sometimes it doesnít happen at all. The important thing is to find your comfort zone. On a personal level, counseling or a support group can help you heal the wounds of the past and define your expectations for the future. On a family level, if you do not enjoy and benefit from time together, consider declining their next invitation.

You canít choose your family, but you do have choices. You have the power to transcend old patterns and influence your life in the present. Let ďflexibility, flow, and letting goĒ be your mantra as you endeavor to find a peaceful place in (or out of) your family. Hereís wishing you and your family a healthy, balanced holiday season.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Erin Kelley-Soderholm, M.Ed.. All rights reserved.
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