Don’t let conflict tear your family apart

Posted on: 10th February, 2014

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

While family relationships can bring joy, support, and other benefits into our lives, they can also bring stress, particularly when there’s unresolved conflict.

Conflict in any relationship is virtually inevitable.  In itself, conflict needn’t be a problem, but the way in which it’s handled will affect whether it brings people together or tears them apart.

No matter how loving, most families go through conflict which can be made more difficult because: family members are already emotionally attached and so feelings are often intensified; family members are involved in long-term relationships and often are required to interact with each other daily; families often obey their own rules and resist outside interference; and difficulties between some family members almost always have a knock-on, ripple effect to others in the family.

These characteristics can lead to long, complex and painful conflicts, which may be extremely damaging.

Sometimes conflict can begin with a specific event, like a divorce or death, but the trouble may also be caused by many little things simply piling up and not being addressed.

Rifts occur over a wide range of issues, such as: the living and care arrangements for family members who may be older, incapacitated, or need support; arrangements set out in wills, and over succession and inheritance, both about how things are left for the future, and who takes decisions or has influence over these; present or past differences between adult siblings that disrupt family relations and cause damage; difficulties within or between step-families. With one-third of all Irish families no longer fitting the ‘traditional model’, and a quarter of all children under 21 in such families, it is important to recognise the complexities that exist, and the possibilities for additional stresses and strains; farm and/or land-related disputes that may be about ownership, how the land is used, or who makes decisions; negotiating how to maintain relationships between grandparents and grandchildren in the event of parental separation or divorce.

The risk of conflict is often greater where families work together in a family business where the day-to-day challenges of family relationships are added to the stresses of the working environment.  In today’s fragile economic climate, family businesses are immensely important. They make up more than 75 per cent of all enterprises in Ireland, and account for 50 per cent of all jobs.  However, data shows that fewer than one in three will successfully make the transition to second generation, as this is often a time of additional very complex challenges. The future of the business will depend on how these disputes are handled.

Families and their circumstances are all different. However, there are ways of addressing the difficulties they face.  Families need to think carefully about what option they choose as in many cases such as long-running feuds, breaks in communication or legal action may worsen the situation.

Mediation has a high success rate in resolving family disputes. It provides the opportunity to find creative approaches that work in the unique situation of the family concerned, and addresses issues in a confidential, private, and safe environment.

Certified mediators are neutral and trained in conflict resolution skills. They have the expertise needed to give family members the best possible opportunity to resolve their disputes and, where appropriate, to maintain an ongoing relationship.  The experience often also assists family members with communication skills that help prevent disputes arising, and gives them the confidence to know that conflicts can be resolved, and can even be opportunities for positive change.  Mediation offers the chance to re-establish communications and allows you to develop solutions that work and build the basis for a better future.

Harriet Emerson and Rachel O’Sullivan are Certified Mediators at adjust.  For more information call 087 650 8664, e-mail: info@adjust.ie or visit www.adjust.ie

(This article does not mention separating couples, but these situations are commonly handled successfully through mediation, which is particularly appropriate for agreeing arrangements for children.)

Latest News Articles:

Christmas on the beat
Clonakilty town aims to get snowed under with the return of the Clonakilty Christmas Express
On call for Christmas
Have your say in shaping the future of Clonakilty
Dursey Island project passes first phase in Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme
Minister Ring visits superb rural initiatives in West Cork
West Cork farms celebrated at Milk Awards
Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence

Join us on Facebook

Something to remember especially at this time of year. ... See MoreSee Less

This Christmas Tree candle is currently available in Penny’s/Primark stores, they have been recalled by the company. If you have one please beware they do pose a serious fire hazard if lit and left unattended. Please keep them as an ornament and do not light them and leave them unattended. In fact you should never leave any lit candle unattended as a naked flame and wax can be very unpredictable. Please share to get this message around to your friends and families.

11th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

TRADING THROUGH BREXIT - BREXIT BRIEFING SERIES LAUNCHED
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney T.D. is hosting a number of Brexit Breakfast Briefings in Cork in the coming weeks. The first in the series takes place on Monday, 4 December at the Carrigaline Court Hotel at 7:30am until 9am. Business owners, retailers and those involved in tourism in the region are invited to attend the free briefing, which will see Minister Coveney providing an update on Brexit negotiations, his insights and also practical ways to begin preparing for Brexit.

The Brexit Breakfast information events are free of charge and all are welcome to attend, however registration is required by emailing simon.coveney@oir.ie or call 021 4374200
... See MoreSee Less

27th November, 2017  ·  

Keep an eye out for Croíúil Trad group
from Rosscarbery and the Munster Champions U-12 Ceili Band from Bandon, both performing on next weekend's The Late Late Toy Show, airing on Friday, December 1 on RTÉ One at 9.35pm.
... See MoreSee Less

27th November, 2017  ·  

Meet Santa and his elves, penguins and polar bears at Leapland, which returns to Leap Village on December 2. A magical experience for little ones who can visit from Mon-Fri 5pm-8pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-8pm. Call 087 7427016 for enquiries. ... See MoreSee Less

21st November, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top