Recently within a period of 5 days, I had a daughter, my son, and my wife all come to me separately telling my they had been frustrated or hurt by me. After the third person I found myself thinking: “EEK! I have created monsters!” Let me explain.
If you have been reading my email/blog posts, you know that one of the main topics I write about is how to process all conflict big or small in a manner governed by love. Through doing so, we learn how in fact to enhance all conversation every day.
In my family we spend a LOT of time in conversation including talking through conflict whenever it arises. Our kids know the process we teach that guides us through conflict. (The PLEDGE process.) Hence when conflict arises, they don’t hesitate to say “Hey Dad-can we talk about something?”
Here’s where I have to be honest (I know my kids are reading this!)
My first thought when approached is: “Oh crud, what did I do now?” My first feeling is a tightening of my stomach. You see–as much as I talk about, teach on, and lead others through conflict–I still don’t like it. It makes me uncomfortable. And when one person comes with a concern, after another–well, I think to myself–I have created monsters!
In the midst of the monster scare however, I am confident of two things:
First, I am confident that my wife and I and our children have the understanding needed to talk through difficult subjects, learn from the experience, and grow both personally and relationally each time we do. It has happened time and again.
Second, I am confident that not only do we have the needed understanding, but we will apply that understanding and thereby work together to make our relationships even stronger. How easy or difficult it is depends upon any number of elements at the time, but we will work through it.
Hence I may at times feel like I have created monsters by teaching my kids how to converse well and freely talk about problems–and they do–but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The blessings of richer relationships FAR outweigh the moments of discomfort when we talk through our issues.
How about some takeaways:
- Talking through conflict is never easy or comfortable–for any of us.
- It can be done however, and will deepen relationships when done well.
- If not done, or done poorly, relationships will increasingly suffer.
- You may need a guide like PLEDGE. If you haven’t taken a look at my summary blog on the process go here.
- It takes work and time to develop a new skill such as learning how to process conflict well. But believe me it is some of the best time you can spend for the health of your marriage and family!
We truly want to see your marriage, your relationship with your kids, and your friendships with others thrive…and we desire to do all we can to help in making that happen!
What can I write about that would help YOU? Please leave a reply below or email me HERE.