The 8 Types Of Family Conflicts And How To Manage Them

Family arguing.

When we think about the concept of family, we usually think of a group of people who support each other and adopt a series of rules to make coexistence possible. Now, precisely because the treatment between these people is very common and involves several of the most intimate and personal aspects of each one, it is relatively common for disagreements and discussions to arise.

There are different types of family conflict, according to the type of link between people or according to the cause that originates it. Here you will find a summary of these variants of conflicts that can occur within families, and their characteristics.

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Arguments and disputes in the family

The term family includes a group of people made up of people united by filial relationships, that is, parents, children and siblings or by couple ties. This system is understood as an open whole, in which all components are closely related.

Due to this close and intimate relationship, the behavior of any of them can affect the dynamics of the family. Naturally, family disputes and conflicts are part of these dynamics.

Conflicts or disputes constitute an inseparable element of living in society, given that it is made up of many different individuals with diverse opinions and ways of thinking. Furthermore, a well-managed conflict is established as a means for development and progress, so it is necessary to face it in order to learn from it.

Obviously, family conflict is something natural, since in the coexistence of members of a family unit, with different ages, thoughts and ways of seeing life, conflict is inevitable. However, the fundamental thing is not to avoid conflict at all costs, since that is impossible, but to avoid escalation of aggressiveness and manage it intelligently and assertively.

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Variants of family conflicts

At the moment in which a conflict appears in a family or family unit, An instability also appears that can lead to frustrations and worries. disproportionate in some members. In addition, old problems that were not resolved may begin to resurface and that only contribute to making the conflict bigger.

Any kind of family crisis requires the cooperation of all members, as well as a transformation and adaptation to a new situation; since during a family dispute the rules imposed in the family context become uncertain and it is necessary to work on them again.

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Types of family conflicts

There are several ways to categorize different types of family conflicts. This categorization can be based on the type of relationship that exists between the agents involved in the dispute or based on the focus or cause of the conflict.

1. Types of family conflicts depending on the type of relationship

Depending on the type of relationship or kinship that exists between family members, four types of family conflicts can be differentiated.

1.1. Couple conflicts

It is inevitable that disputes or crises arise in the context of a couple; However, if people are able to adequately manage these conflicts can serve to strengthen the bond between couples.

Usually these difficulties arise naturally as a result of communication problems or misunderstandings. The most common causes of daily conflicts in couples are:

  • Communication problems: incorrect expressions, reproaches, emotional speech, insults, etc.
  • Feeling of loss of freedom and autonomy on the part of one of the members of the couple.
  • Try to change the other person’s way of being.
  • Lack of problem solving skills.

1.2. Conflicts between parents and children

Depending on the stage of development in which each of the parties involved in the conflict are, they can be subdivided into three categories:

  • Conflicts during the childhood stage: conflicts usually revolve around the development of the child’s autonomy. In these cases, either the parents are not clear about how to grant that autonomy, or They do not believe that the child is moving in the direction they believe is correct..

  • Conflicts during adolescence: It is the stage in which the greatest number of conflicts arise. These appear when children are between 12 and 18 years old and are caused by the emotional fluctuations or ups and downs typical of this period.

  • Conflicts with adult children: when children reach the age of majority it marks the beginning of coexistence between already adult people. Which usually have different ways of thinking and understanding how to live or organize their life, so this time also is likely to cause some family conflicts.

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1.3. Conflicts between siblings

These types of conflicts are the most common and the ones that last the longest regardless of the life stage in which each one of them finds themselves. These altercations usually last for a very short time and most of the time parental interference is not mandatory.

The positive side of this type of conflict is that they constitute a prelude to the conflicts that can appear in adulthood, and therefore serve as initiation and learning for adult life.

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1.4. Conflicts with the elderly

When an adult enters the stage of old age, the changes they experience are extremely transcendental. Both on a biological level, when the person notices their own bodily deterioration; as at a social level, in which they appear events such as retirement, loss of friends or loved onesetc.

This set of changes can be experienced in a very dramatic way by the person, giving rise to conflicts with the rest of the components of the family unit.

2. According to the focus of the problem

These conflicts are categorized according to the source or focus of the problem, and although they are described separately, more than one type can occur at the same time.

2.1. Crises typical of the life cycle

Each change or jump from one stage of the life cycle to another is usually accompanied by some conflict, this is due to a series of factors such as new responsibilitiesassimilation of new roles or events such as marriages, retirements or deaths.

If these conflicts try to be neutralizing or are managed in a poor way, they can become real family crises.

2.2. External crises

The origin of these crises is found in** the sudden appearance of an unexpected event**. These events range from the loss of a job, some kind of accident, the death of a loved one, etc.

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What usually characterizes these crises is the search for culprits by the person most affectedinstead of trying to get used to the new circumstances.

23. Structural crises

In this type of difficulties, old crises or events are repeated and renewed, causing conflicts to reappear between family members.

2.4. Attention crisis

These crises are typical of family units in which dependent or helpless people reside. In these cases, conflicts appear when the people in charge of their care see their usual activities or freedoms limited or restricted.

Tips for managing family conflicts

It is necessary to understand that in a family conflict situation not everything is negative. A conflict can be a perfect opportunity to learn new ways to solve problems. First of all, you have to identify the specific causes of the conflict in order to work on possible changes on them.

Some tactics or strategies to handle disputes effectively are:

1. Practice active listening

Pay full attention to what the other person is trying to convey, as well as make sure that you have understood their demands and that the other person is aware that they have been understood.

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2. Watch the way you speak

Using careful language and correct expressions are essential to maintain good communication.

A good way to express feelings in an appropriate way is by replacing reproaches with expressions of what one is feeling or what the person feels hurt or hurt about. Likewise, it is necessary to raise or suggest alternative solutions to the problems that have caused the crisis.

3. Allow the intervention of all those involved

It is very common that in any type of dispute the people involved do not speak to each other, or do not want some of the other parties involved to intervene in solving the problem.

However, this is a serious mistake. Since none of the parties involved should be prioritized and all of them have the right and obligation to intervene at the same level.

4. Show affection

Despite experiencing a conflict situation that can be stressful, It is important to continue expressing signs of affection and affection; since these reduce the levels of tension in relationships.

5. Find the right place and time

Due to the emotional component of family conflicts, people often tend to argue at any time and place. However, it is better to postpone the discussion for when tempers are calmer and the context accompanies and facilitates the dialogue.