Meenal Patel, Licensed Professional Counselor

We all have been in the position as a child and your parents just do not understand you. No matter how open and honest you are trying to be, they just have a hard time understanding who you are and what you want. How do you manage being able to get heard and being able to manage conflict that might arise. Continue reading to gain some tips to better manage conflict with your parents or even as a parent.

Understand where both parties are coming from

Allow both parties (either the child or adult) speak and express how they are feeling. Be open to letting them talk without interrupting. Be honest in saying how you are feeling and what you need to get across. Put yourself in the other persons shoes to understand their story and what they are wanting to express in the moment.

Seek advice from another adult

This one is tricky depending on which party is having the conflict (the child or the adult). But if you are an “adult child” or adult speak to another adult to gain advice or their perspective. Everyone handles and understands things differently, so allow others in to help solve the conflict.

Identify your end goal

Managing conflict even means having an end goal. Being able to identify for yourself what you want to get out of the conversation that has lead to conflict. Trying to stay focused on what you are wanting to help you navigate through the conflict conversation.

No yelling!

When we get into conflicts, we tend to raise our voices thinking that people will understand us. That is not true unfortunately. Being able to speak in a calm manner will be better for you to get your emotions across. Watching not only the level of your voice, but also your tone and body language.

Pick the right time

Make sure that you are not catching someone always off guard when you are going to talk about the conflict. Making sure that you are able to have ample time to speak to your parent or child about the conflict that is occurring. Make sure that both parties have enough time and are clear minded to engage in conversation.

Deep breaths

Make sure that you take deep breaths and relax during your conversation. There will be a lot of emotions going on during this time but being sure that you are able to calmly speak and not just saying things out of your own emotions. There is no rush and there is no quick way of expressing your emotions.

Remind of love and maintain positive emotions

Remind your parent or child that you do care about them and you do love them. Trying not to let your emotions take away from what the big underlying picture is-the unconditional love. Be able to openly say how much you love them and also allowing space to discuss emotions.

Pick and choose what is important

We can often times find a lot of things that we want to discuss, but when going through conflict, identify for yourself what is important and what is something that you do not actually need to fight for. Think and look at what is most important before you keep opening doors that do not even matter as much as you might think they do.

Conflict happens in parent-child relationships. Being able to utilize these tips, and many others, be aware of emotions and making sure that you are getting your point across in a non-confrontational way. If you feel like you are struggling with the inability to manage conflict, contact any of the talented therapists at Symmetry Counseling.