Being the keeper of peace
Sometimes you may have to play the role of the adult in the family and intervene when your parents are fighting
When families fight, and particularly, when parents, fight, it can be devastating. Here’s how you, as a youngster, can handle such a situation.
1 Do not blame yourself:
Just because your name gets dragged into the fight does not mean you caused it. Do not engage in self-blame.
2 No wars with parents please:
Always try and have an independent relationship with each parent. This ensures that you are never brought into the dispute on account of the relationship you share with each.
3 Never take sides:
You do not know the entire context of the dispute. Let the two individuals determine the best way to iron out their differences.
4 Make the atmosphere positive:
Try to make the home environment more congenial. Avoid contributing to the existing strains in the household by throwing fits.
5 Family bonding time:
Encourage your family members to engage in mutually-satisfying and engaging activities.
6 Encourage family outings:
Family outings are always welcome. This can provide a good break from the monotony of everyday life.
7 No confrontation:
Do not get into a confrontation with your parents about their relationship. It will only make matters worse.
8 Be non-judgemental:
Giving a sympathetic hearing to your parent is a good thing. However, do not be judgemental. Help your parents cope by listening without taking sides.
9 Ask for a healthy conversation:
Despite the acrimony, encourage your parents to have healthy conversations with each other.
10 Suggest seeking professional help:
If things are spiralling out of control, the couple should seek professional help. Ask them to consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist.
The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare