People don't always get along, even when they're in a romantic relationship or come from the same blood line. While family problems are often the source of comedies and dramas, in real life, we can tackle tricky issues and keep the peace. Here are 10 such issues.
10. Being Far From Your Family
Annual holidays are an especially tough time to be away from your family (even if you wouldn't want to live closer to them the rest of the year), but getting homesick can happen at any time of the year. Video chatting and frequent calls are one way around that homesickness, as is making friends in your own town and keeping in touch with relatives close by. Family reunions are easier to appreciate, also, when they're limited, special occasions.
9. Being Too Close To Family
On the other hand, there can be such a thing as too much family contact, whether it's your in-laws always breathing down your neck or some members of your family are introverts while the others are extroverts. Set and reinforce boundaries early on. This is especially important if you work from home and your family has a tendency to disrupt you.
8. Some Family Members Stress You Out
Personality clashes are always tough, and some people just drive us crazy. If you can't avoid these people, a little mindfulness and de-stressing can help. If you have high maintenance family members, plan for the craziness -- it's easier to handle obnoxious Uncle Bob or crazy Aunt Laura when you already know what to expect. And, again, give yourself lots of time outs as needed.
7. Getting The Family Organised
It's hard enough getting yourself organised. Throw a partner and possibly kids into the mix and chaos can quickly ensue. Numerous apps can help you set up a routine, share a calendar, and manage chores. The key -- and tricky part -- is to get everyone motivated to help the whole family stay organised.
6. Divvying Up Chores
Speaking of chores, just about no one enjoys doing them, but unless everyone pitches in family members can start to feel resentful. Chores also teach kids important lessons. You can use screen time tokens to "pay" kids for chores, use an onlineor DIY job chart to organise kids' chores. If members of your household are slobs (and you're not), you'll have to figure out where you are and aren't willing to compromise. A shared to-do list might help.
5. Poor Communication (Or Lack Of It)
Communication issues are usually at the root of most relationship problems, and a lack of communication can even lead to divorce or estrangement from other family members. Try setting aside an "honesty hour" for better family communication and using meals, cooking, and other activities as times to model healthy communication for kids and otherwise catch up with each other. If family members' communication styles don't match, everyone will need to learn to be patient and actively listen. (Everyone could probably stand to improve their communication skills.)
4. Handling Arguments
There are good fights, the kind that clear the air, and then there are bad fights, the kind that expose and further widen the cracks in our relationships' foundations. Sometimes it's all a matter of how we argue, not what we're arguing about. Use a more rational (rather than emotionally charged) approach when you argue and offer the solution first to help keep the peace in your family. Fighting in front of your kids isn't a bad thing, either. When the whole family is arguing and no one is listening, one person (probably you, since you're reading this) will have to step back, stay calm, and help everyone come to a resolution, the Wall Street Journal says. Conflicts are only useful if a respectful resolution is reached by all.
3. Agreeing On Parenting Decisions
The biggest parenting decision is whether or not to have kids in the first place. After that, you and your partner might disagree on things like discipline, saving and paying for education, teaching them religion, and even lying about Santa. This is another one of those "choose your battles" topics -- fight for what actually matters most (which childcare or school to send your kids to) and let go of or compromise on the rest (whose turn it is to give the baby a bath).
2. Balancing Work And Home Life
If life were perfect we'd have enough time to pursue our dreams and also spend as much quality time with our family as we want every day. This being the real world, we all struggle with work-life balance. Remember that work and life aren't necessarily competing against each other, as if when you spend time working it detracts from your personal or family life, and vice versa. You'll still have to juggle family tasks, personal ones, and work ones, but if you can find a way integrate these areas of your life, you and your family might be much happier. Remember, it's quality time that matters most -- those micro-moments of connection we share every day, rather than quantity (although quantity matters too!).
1. Staying Close-Knit
It's all too easy for family members to drift apart, whether you're all living under the same roof or not. That's why regular family meals (whether it's breakfast or dinner or even weekly meals if members are living apart) are so important; ask basic questions at dinnertime (e.g., what went well this week and what we're looking forward to next week) while you're all still living together. Keep up important daily and weekly family traditions, such as weekly game night -- even when everyone gets seemingly too busy for everything else.