8 Ways to Keep Peace in the Family

May 12, 2024 | Special Features by Leslie & Kay, founders

8 Ways to Keep Peace in the Family
a special feature from Kay Ziplow & Leslie Zinberg, founders

Of course, as grandparents we are always trying to keep peace in the family, but sometimes some of us need some gentile reminders of how we all want and deserve to be treated. We’ve all had those moments when our son-in-law or daughter-in-law or our own grown children just really make us angry, and we want to blow up. Or how about when a family member canceled plans last minute when you had planned something special and you feel so discouraged. But don’t worry, we’re all human! And sometimes we all need reminders on how to keep that peace! Here at GPL we have touched on this topic many times. No one is an expert here- it’s all about trial and error, and taking notice so that the next situation won’t implode.

Here are 8 ways to keep peace:

Cultivate a positive view of others
Family conflicts often start with one person feeling their opinion matters most or others should share it because it’s the only correct view. Promoting peace in the family means that you take a good, hard look at yourself and realize that your opinion is as valid as any other family member’s viewpoint. Instead of thinking negatively of each other, learn to develop a positive view. Yield to one another. Don’t just look out for your own interests; instead, look out for the interests of others.

Demonstrate patience and mildness
Many great minds have acknowledged the universal truth that what is soft and yielding can overcome what is rigid and hard. That’s why patience and mildness can conquer even the hardest entrenched patterns. When conflict arises, learn to take a deep breath, step back, and look at the matter from all angles. Examine 1) your own perspective, 2) that of the other person, and 3) how a third party would view the matter. This will help you view any problem with some detachment… and more objectively.

Never resort to being abusive
Reacting with verbal or physical abuse in family conflicts is an act of war, not peace. Instead of making your words stab like a dagger, focus on saying things that soothe and heal your loved one’s feelings. Even if you have a point to make, carefully consider what you should say and how to say it. Resist the urge to be sarcastic, raise your voice, or make unfounded accusations. Aim to disarm, not wound. Violent words or conduct are inexcusable.

Practice sharing and giving
A family is about having fun, laughing, sharing good times together, and enjoying each other’s company. When you practice giving and sharing with your family members, you become a living example. Take time to think about your family members and figure out what makes them happy. Surprise them with something you know they’ll like. Even if they’re reluctant at first, in time, they will follow suit and begin thinking of what they can do for you to make you happy in turn. Promoting peace is a win-win situation.

Listen attentively
The most perplexing thing about conflict is that it’s usually based on what you conclude has happened, not what really did happen. When emotions run high, actions and words can easily be misinterpreted, or motives misconstrued. That’s why it’s so important to learn to listen attentively — with an open mind and without prejudice. Rather than imputing bad motives to others, acknowledge their feelings. Keeping peace means giving each other the benefit of the doubt, showing compassion and empathy, and respecting each other’s opinions.

Be ready to apologize
If you have wronged or offended one of your family members, take responsibility for your part in the conflict. Be quick to apologize and let them know what you’ll do to correct the situation. Even if you feel you’ve done nothing wrong, you can apologize for responding in a bad way or unintentionally contributing to the problem. Peace within your family is more important than pride and victory. When you fight, both parties lose.

Be willing to forgive
Sometimes, you may hold back forgiveness after family conflicts have been settled. It’s like you’re carrying that little remnant of the problem with you just in case you need to remind others what they had done. But remember, family peace is impossible without forgiving. If someone apologizes, be eager to forgive them freely and fully. It’s one of the most beautiful and uniting things when someone forgives another for what they have said or done in a moment of agitation.

Never give up promoting peace in your home. Don’t give up even when family conflicts don’t disappear right off, or some family members don’t want to be very cooperative. If you need extra help, don’t shy away from seeking family counseling. It’s well worth the effort to be a peacemaker and work on promoting tranquility in your family.



Portions of article sourced from: https://eddinscounseling.com

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