With a house full of women and a lot of hormones, resolving conflict is not very pretty. But when is conflict pretty? And I would love to tell you that when we do have conflict, we resolve it quickly and effortlessly - PLEASE! Let's be honest right? Conflict is not fun, but it is a part of life and although there is always room for improvement, I do believe there is a respectful way to handle it. Even at home.
I have a dear friend that once told me in her God honoring house we say we are sorry. All of us. I think Elsa was two at the time. I remember coming home and telling Jason that I agree with this statement. That we honor God in our house so why wouldn't we teach our kids to do the same and have the courage to say they are sorry and ask for forgiveness and that the same would hold true for us. Sure we knew how to say sorry to each other in our marriage, but what about saying sorry to our kids as well. Because guess what? We screw up all of the time and our kids deserve an apology too.
Now we did not say we were sorry for having boundaries and rules. But there were countless times that I said I was sorry for losing my cool, I mean really losing my cool. For example, when Elsa and I got home from our trip to California...we were exhausted, we had traveled for 24 hours and not in a good place and truthfully I can't even remember what we started arguing about, but we started screaming at each other and I mean it was ugly. And then we stepped away from each other for awhile. This was crucial as we probably could have strangled each other in that moment. After some time apart, I remember us both apologizing for screaming at each other. We did not apologize for feeling the way we felt, but we apologized for the way we handled it. Maybe I should not have brought up that she needs to clean her room (just kidding, I'm pretty sure that is not what we were arguing about lol).
We've tried to allow our girls to express their feelings but being respectful about it is what we are aiming for and sometimes that just doesn't happen. Emily likes to write notes to us when she is really angry. I like that this is how she expresses her feelings. It pulls us away from the emotion for a little bit and then we can talk about it more respectfully.
I remember when Elsa was younger we had a journal that we shared back and forth with each other. We could write down whatever we wanted and not be judged by each other. And if we needed to discuss something further, we would, but it allowed us to say things that maybe we would not have the courage to say face to face at the moment.
For me, communication is key. I hope that we have created an environment where our girls feel like they can communicate to us their opinions and disagreements. And that we will listen and respect their opinions, even when they don't match ours.
We are constantly growing in this area and it's not perfect, but hopefully as Elsa enters a new chapter in her life, we will have taught her that conflict is OK and you can come to a resolution. Most of the time anyway.
Conflict, it happens way too often and yet I feel like people make it harder than it should be to resolve it. Also, hello, I’m back!!
Back to conflict! I’m very proud of how I resolve conflict and how my parents have raised my siblings and I to be when we encounter conflict! This summer, I have encountered a lot of conflict and I think it’s just fitting to talk about how I resolved it!
Growing up, my siblings and I learned how to say “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” when needed in an argument! Throughout my years in high school and years experiencing new people, I have realized how important these traits are! I know people who simply do not forgive or even try to apologize for their actions or words and it’s hurtful!! Not having these qualities really does not help when trying to resolve conflict! Personally, I like to communicate! I grew up being able to talk to my mom and my parents about everything! I’m really fortunate for that because I know a lot of people who are not able to do that!
When faced with a tough conflict I always like to communicate about it! That way, I am able to express my concerns and the person I am arguing with can express theirs! The only problem is communicating can take a very long time and sometimes there really is nothing resolved in the end! For example, the other night, I was screaming and I mean SCREAMING at my parents! I had a long/bad day while working and a good amount of my “plans” got ruined for that night. I, then, came up with an idea that I was really excited about, especially because I had such an awful day! Well, my parents said no, and trust me I was frickin' livid!! We tried talking about it but in the end I was still pissed off and my parents answer was still no, so obviously, as any melodramatic teenager would do, I went upstairs and slammed my door shut! Now, this sounds stupid but it really helps! Having alone time while in the middle of trying to solve a conflict really helps me! It gives me time to focus on my thoughts and feelings and how I truly feel! I can, also then find ways to communicate my feelings to the opposite person!
Lately, conflict has been a reoccurring issue in my life, and most of it honestly sucks! But with the help of my incredible family, loving boyfriend and very supportive close best friend (and of course the ever-so-powerful God Almighty) I am truly able to overcome any conflict!