Our top 10 tips to reduce family conflict during isolation
Create yourself some confidential private space, even if it's just a corner of a room. Agree with everyone at home so that you can have uninterrupted time there.
2). Communicate your needs:
We all have different needs at different times and that’s okay. E.g. when I am upset, I might need space alone but someone else may need to talk it through. Therefore, we could decide to have space but with the promise to talk after an hour.
3). You vs I:
The first word we usually go to during conflict is ‘you’: ‘you’re not listening to me?’ and ‘you haven’t done this’. Try using 'I' statements: ‘I don’t feel heard’. They both mean the same thing but we are more likely to be heard and to listen without becoming defensive.
4). Take care of yourself:
It is hard to be around others when we are struggling within ourselves. For mental health support please contact: Mind, YoungMinds, Kooth, NHS Wellbeing.
5). Share the feelings:
It is so important to use our support network when the outside world is feeling wobbly. Keep to social distancing restrictions but call! Reach out to your friends and family and confide in them when you are feeling frustrated or upset.
6). Organise and share:
When everyone is at home, it means more cooking, cleaning and other daily necessities! This can lead to one person feeling resentful or angry if they are doing more than their share. Create a rota with your household that feels fair to everyone.
7). Time out:
We all get into conflict, we’re only human, but it is how you manage conflict when it happens. Sometimes arguments can escalate and it can be hard to stop. Try using a phrase that means ‘I need some space now, can we get back to this later’. It can be anything that works for you e.g. ‘time out’ or even ‘green bananas!’.
8). Spending time together:
It can be easy to feel like we are constantly in each other’s company, especially when we are stuck inside. Designating time to spend together makes it separate from the everyday living. Make a jar of ideas with everyone’s input and set aside some time, whether it is watching a new Netflix series or seeing how good mum and dad are at Fortnite.
9). Know your triggers:
Anger has a bad reputation sometimes, but it is healthy to be angry as it can show us where each other’s boundaries are. We all have things that will send us from 0-60 in no time! What are yours? And what are your family members? Once you know what these are, you can find ways to work around them!
10). Understanding anger:
Anger is like an iceberg. Sometimes when we are angry we hit out either physically or verbally or we can shut down. These are ways of displaying our anger and often there are hurts, needs and fears underneath this that we can’t see.