Keep the Peace This Summer

School is out and your family will be spending a lot of quality time together. While that initially sounds good, more time together can increase fighting and over-all family tension. So, that begs the question: How do you keep the peace this summer?

Pick and choose your battles– not everything is worth fighting about. It is better just to listen. Saying things like, “That’s an interesting way to look at it”, or “I’ve never thought about it like that before” are great substitutes for disagreements. Sometimes it is best to go with the old saying and agree to disagree.

Communication is key! Making clear expectations and boundaries are essential to a peaceful living environment. There are things adults think are second nature but children and teens have never thought about before. As an example, you know that your car needs an oil change every few months. But does your teen know that? Without explicit instructions, this scenario can lead to disaster. Imagine if the car you purchased for your adolescent broke down simply due to a lack of oil change! Your first reaction could be anger, but don’t forget that they didn’t know that. It is hard on the child and parent when there is a failure to communicate. By establishing open lines of communication, everyone can be on the same page, and know what is expected of them and circumstances like that can be avoided.

Inevitably, there will be disagreements this summer. (We are only human after all.) However, it is important for your mental and physical health that you go about resolving those issues. The Mayo Clinic reports, “Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body”. Take steps to control your stress. With so many pressures of day to day life, your home should be a place of rejuvenation. By maturely sitting down, and calmly addressing the issue, you can set the stage for rational discussions. It is also important to remain the adult in the situation since it is easy to get over-heated in an argument, especially with an adolescent.

If you are finding it hard to keep the peace this summer, even with these helpful tools, schedule a family counseling session with us.