- Take a break from the problem or discussion if it is getting too heated – agree to come back and discuss at another time.
- Try to find a time when people aren’t already tired, stressed or too upset to talk.
- Put aside distractions such as phones, TVs or computers – stay focused on the issue and it will be resolved faster.
- Model the behavior you wish to see in family communication – take turns talking and listening, keep language respectful and don’t walk away in the middle of the discussion.
- Be willing to find a compromise.
- Be honest.
- Communicate in a non-harmful manner.
During disagreements, it’s often helpful to say how you feel. For example, try to say “I feel disrespected when you don’t follow the rules” rather than “you don’t care about my rules!” The other person has a better chance of understanding what you’re trying to say if you refer to specific feelings.