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Aggression is often about power. In the household, when someone is displaying aggressive or even violent behaviour they are trying to gain or maintain power over their family members, a space in the household, or a position within the family. This is an unhealthy habit to allow within the household and can lead to traumatic outcomes for the family. Family violence is never excusable, but there are ways of reducing tensions in a family that could help prevent situations erupting into violence. To maintain a healthy family dynamic, simple meditation techniques can change the way your family interacts with each other and can lead to a happy, prosperous household.

When a family member at home displays aggressive behaviour towards another family member, you have to understand that it is coming from a place of frustration and/or powerlessness. Before you react, you should consider why the individual has behaved the way they have. In no way does this mean you should excuse their behaviour. Aggressive and violent behaviour should never be a part of a family’s customs. However, taking a step back to consider the origin of this person’s anger is an essential step in managing conflict in the household.

Apologies make a big impact

It can be difficult in the heat of an argument, however, maintaining a steady temper during a confrontation at home should ultimately be your top priority, especially if you are a parent or guardian responding to the aggressive and violent behaviour of children. Do not under any circumstances react aggressively or with violence. Don’t lash out. And if you do, apologise immediately so that everyone understands that violence is never an appropriate way to solve problems. Lashing out, along with resorting to silence, will only escalate the situation further. Staying calm in the face of aggression and violence can quickly aid in diffusing the situation, which disputing parties will ultimately appreciate. It will set an example to other family members too, when they, in turn, have to deal with aggressive and violent behaviour.

An excellent way of managing a person(s) in the household that feels frustrated or powerless is to establish a safe space for open communication. That is, a space for disputing parties to not just voice their frustrations and concerns, but also for them to listen. A vital part of effective communication is engendering the value of listening sincerely to the confronting party. Open communication can be difficult for disputing spouses for example, especially when overarching emotions come into play. Seeking a neutral mediator in such circumstances is advised in these cases. A neutral mediator is a sure way to avoid aggression and violence between emotional parties and can give them the opportunity they need to come to mutual understandings.

Understand your emotions, manage your temper

It is powerful to understand and manage your emotions well. You can ultimately find a healthy balance to love, grieve, be angry and be happy. As such, you should invest in ways for your family to express your anger and frustration in a clear and healthy manner. It helps no one and nothing when you resort to shouting, screaming, cursing, throwing, kicking or punching people or things, for example. Use low, calm tones with words that do not attack or condemn. Express what your issue or problem is and if you have a suggestion for what the solution can be, you should offer that too in a respectful manner. Remember to always consider the other parties involved circumstances and feelings.

Often we tend to forget that our behaviour in the household has very different consequences in the real world. As such, a good practice to invoke in the household is to have persons face the consequences of actions that can affect the entire family. This does not mean a punishment for bad behaviour but rather a learning experience for every thoughtless reaction. When a child in the household, for example, becomes violent or aggressive after not getting his or her way, limit their access to things that can further fuel their anger and frustration. You cannot respond to powerlessness with power. Do not give them anything that will not help their problem-solving skills. Aim to always provide fair solutions to problems.

Seek mediation assistance

These techniques can be difficult at first, as you too may not be aware of how to manage your own anger and aggression. Moreover, being in a family can often be emotionally challenging. But it is not hopeless. If you feel you cannot be neutral in situations or that you may be a victim of violence in the family, one option is to seek mediation with the professionals at Dispute Resolution Centre.

The Dispute Resolution Centre is T&T’s #1 alternative dispute resolution agency dedicated to giving individuals and companies the necessary tools for resolving problems through the use of mediation skills. Contact us at 632-4051 or 637-2642 for more information.

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