Conflicts are a part of family life. Many things can lead to conflict, such as illness, disability, addiction, job loss, school problems, and marital issues.
It is normal to disagree with each other from time to time. Occasional conflict is part of family life. However, ongoing conflict can be stressful and damaging to relationships. Some people find it difficult to manage their feelings and become intentionally hurtful, aggressive or even violent.
Communicating in a positive way can help reduce conflict so that family members can reach a peaceful resolution. This usually means that everyone agrees to a compromise or agrees to disagree. Sometimes, strong emotions or the power imbalances that can be present in relationships are difficult to resolve and can only be addressed in a counselling situation.
It is well recognised that some of the stages a family goes through can cause conflict. These may include:
- Learning to live as a new couple
- Birth of a baby
- Birth of other children
- A child going to school
- A child becoming a young person
- A young person becoming an adult.
Each of these stages can create new and different stresses and potential conflict.
Changes in the family situation can also take a toll on the family and contribute to conflict. This may include events such as:
- Separation or divorce
- Moving to a new house or country
- Travelling long distances to work
- Commuting interstate for work.
- Change in financial circumstances.
The opinions, values and needs of each parent can also change and they may find they are no longer compatible.