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Anybody would agree that families are great and they offer lots of benefits, but there are also problems peculiar to the family. Even the most stable family with loving members experiences problems.
Problems are not necessarily signs that a family is unhealthy, a family is an institution of people connected through feelings and emotions, there is bound to be problems along the way as members interact. There will be feelings of love, happiness, joy, encouragement, but also disappointment, resentment, mild anger and all kinds of feelings that can cause problems within a family.
Listed below are a few of the problems a family might face:
- Parenting issues
- Behavioral issues
- Arguments and disagreements
- Financial problems
As we all know, there are right and wrong ways to deal with problems. In this article we will highlight 10 effective ways to handle and overcome family problems. But not all families are the same you might ask, that is true, but the solutions suggested here will work for a wide range of families.
1. Schedule and prioritize family time:
This is more preventative, but it is also effective in solving existing problems. A family that spends time together will have less problems, and when they have problems it’ll be easy to call everybody together and find a solution.
We live in a busy world, everything is moving fast and people are busy with their lives. But as a family, it is important to have a set time where every member of the family puts their businesses on hold so the whole family can spend time together, have fun, have meaningful discussions and solve whatever problem they might be facing.
This can also be helpful in bridging the gap between members of the family that live far apart from each other.
Communication within a family is extremely important, it brings members close to each other and helps to prevent problems. At the same time, when problems do arise, it can only be amicably solved through communicating.
So, to effectively handle and overcome family problems, effective communication systems and habits must be in place.
Communication allows family members to exchange thoughts and ideas and also express their feelings to each other. Areas that need improvement can also be expressed, all hands will be on deck in moving the family forward and making sure there is peace and harmony.
3. Proper budgeting and management:
To avoid financial problems that could escalate and trigger other problems, it is ideal for a family to have a well-defined budget. A family with a solid budget will encounter less problems, and when they do have problems, financial or non-financial, a solid budget will create a great foundation for them to find solutions to whatever problem they might be facing.
Although money talks can be sometimes awkward, especially where there isn’t enough money, but there should be family discussions about budgeting and the finances of the family. Starting the kids on a commission-based earning is a good idea, money shouldn’t just be handed to them, they can get paid for doing chores and rewarded for saving. This will teach them the value of money and hard work, and this will reflect positively on the finances of the family.
4. Be serious about preventive measures:
Prevention is better than cure. This is very true for family problems and issues. Implement tips and encourage behaviors that will minimize problems and arguments and conflict minimal or even non-existent.
Establishing ground rules is an effective way to prevent problems. Encourage and teach openness, sensitivity, and empathy.
5. Know what the problem(s) is:
Einstein has been quoted saying if he had one hour to save the world, he’d spend fifty-five minutes identifying the problem and five minutes solving it.
Identifying the problem, together as a family, is one of the initial and most effective ways of solving a problem. Problems that are not identified or acknowledged are difficult to solve. Being brutally honest when identifying the problem is also highly important.
6. Attack the problem, not the person (or people):
It is easy to play the blame game when a problem arises within the family, everybody starts pointing fingers, refusing to take responsibility. To effectively handle and overcome family problems, no one should be made the scapegoat, the problem should be attacked and solved instead of trying to blame someone for the problem.
Attacking the person can also come in the form of seeing another person as a problem because they don’t agree with the solution. When people are attacked they get defensive and launch their own attack. Every member of the family should be listened to, and from the pool of suggestions a viable solution can be picked. Not listening and trying to blame someone or a group of people for the problem will only escalate the problem and make solving it more difficult.
7. Develop solutions as a team:
As stated in the previous point, every member of the family should feel like they’ve contributed to the process, either by giving ideas or understanding the solution and agreeing to it. A consensus should be reached on the best way to solve the problem(s).
Negotiation should be encouraged and every member should be open to ideas and suggestions from other members. Developing a solution as a team will further strengthen family bonds and develop trust. It can also reduce the occurrence of arguments and conflict in the future.
8. Eliminate pride and sentiments:
We all see things from varying perspectives, so every member of the family has ideals and sentiments. Sentiments should be pushed and to the background so a solution to the problem can be developed.
Pride should also be left at the door, every member’s opinion should be respected and considered, not thrown out the window. No one would feel good if they are told their idea is trash or stupid. To find a solution to a problem and avoid escalating it, pride and sentiments should be totally eliminated.
9. Clearly spell out what each member of the family will do to solve the problem:
Planning and delegation of duty will speed up the process of applying a solution to solve a problem. Clearly spelling out roles will give every member a sense of responsibility, this will make everyone feel capable and included, further strengthening the bond of the family and helping to avoid problems in the future.
10. Set positive examples:
Leading by example is one of the most effective ways to lead. This addresses older members of a family. After a solution has been reached and every member given responsibilities, the younger members of the family should see the elders setting a good example to follow.
Family problems are inevitable, and they come in different shades and colors. Luckily, there are effective ways through which solutions can be developed and proffered to problems.
No two persons are created equal, even if they are members of the same family. So, keep an open mind and apply the ten tips listed above to easily resolve and prevent family problem.
Further Reading: 10 traits of a good family