How to Navigate Difficult Family Problems: Best Practices for Resolution


Family disputes can be difficult to navigate. What do you do when your family is at odds with one another? Do you try and resolve the situation on your own or bring in a third party? 

There are many options for handling these types of problems, but we want to show you what we believe are best practices for resolution. We’ve broken down our family dispute resolution suggestions into three categories: individual approaches, family-based approaches, and professional interventions.

Individual Approaches

First, it’s helpful to be self-aware. What are your triggers for conflict? How do you typically respond when family members disagree with you? Knowing yourself and how you tend to behave in these situations will help you manage the situation more effectively if it arises again. This also helps inform other options on this list.

If you find that your anger or emotions get the best of you, it may be helpful to practice some calming techniques like deep breathing or visualization. You could also try writing out your thoughts and feelings on the situation instead of talking about them directly. This can help diffuse the tension and give you a chance to approach the problem more calmly.

Finally, if you’re feeling isolated in this dispute or like things are just getting too complicated, reach out to family members, friends, or professionals for support. Talking through your issues with someone who will listen and offer unbiased advice can make all the difference.

Family-Based Approaches

If you would rather deal with the issue as a family unit, there are several different approaches to try. One technique is to agree that there’s a problem, identify the issue or issues together, and brainstorm solutions as a family unit. This process could be done one-on-one with each family member talking about their feelings on the matter, in groups of two or three members at a time, or even all together if you can manage it!

If your immediate family isn’t available for this type of mediation (for example: because they live far away), extended family members are often willing to help out by playing mediator between siblings so everyone gets an equal turn during conversations. These types of negotiations should end with some kind of compromise where no party feels like they’ve been taken advantage of and both sides heard. The point here is that family-based approaches involve open dialogue and a willingness to work together.

Professional Interventions

If the situation is too complicated or emotional for you or your family members to handle on your own, professional interventions may be necessary for family mediation. This could mean seeking out the help of a therapist, counselor, or mediator who can help facilitate communication between everyone involved. They can provide impartial advice and support throughout the entire process. Professionals can also be helpful in identifying any underlying issues that may be contributing to the conflict.

Sometimes it’s just not possible to resolve a dispute with family members. In these cases, professionals can help families create a parenting plan or custody arrangement that works best for all parties involved. No one wants their family disputes to end up in court, but if you have no other option these are the kinds of professionals to lean on.

We hope this list helps you navigate family disputes with greater ease and success!

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