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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

education Updated: Feb 23, 2011 09:45 IST
Samir Parikh

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