Conflict. Troubles. Trials. Issues. Whatever you call them, they are bound to hit you and your family at one point or another. We can’t escape them, despite our greatest efforts. The key though is to come out of our problems better than when we went into them. Sometimes it requires extra effort as a family to have healthier means of communication, follow-up with decisions that are made, and to celebrate the successes that happen together.
A suggestion to help your family get through the tough times and enjoy more good times is to hold regular family councils. This is a regular, but special, meeting where all family members come together to discuss one thing. Often times, the head of the household, will give everyone a few days notice of the meeting and what topic/event/experience is going to be discussed. That night, if you are a religious family, open with a family prayer. Otherwise, the dad would express love to everyone, how much he admires everyone in the family, and how grateful he is to have everyone in attendance that night. During this meeting, everyone is allowed a chance to speak their feelings about what happened or is currently going on. There are no interruptions so they feel respected and heard by all of the other family members. It is important to reach a consensus as a family, not a compromise (this would mean that one person doesn’t agree and then it won’t get the desired results). The decision can be about what the next step is for them as a family in this particular circumstance. After a consensus has been made, end with a prayer (if religious) and have a refreshment. The refreshment serves as a way to change the dynamic from serious and thought-provoking to light-hearted and fun.