Families are stronger when individual members learn to deal appropriately with family conflicts, and strong families strengthen communities and nations. The conflict theory states that there will always be conflict in families because families are made up of individuals who have their own thoughts and desires. The goal is not to eliminate conflict but to manage it before it destroys the relationship or the family.
There are rules in managing conflict in families with one long-time rule being that no one airs the “dirty laundry” of the family in public. In other words, even though family members have disagreements, they should not speak negatively of each other in public or on social media. Most family problems can be solved by good communication skills and willingness to work together. A wise spiritual leader taught that no problem is more important than the relationship to be saved. However, some types of problems require professional help, but the key is to discuss the problem only with those who can help to solve the problem.
An example of what not to do is in the news of the day with the problems in the British royal family. Prince Harry says that he is airing the family’s “dirty laundry” in an effort to reconcile with his family, but he appears to be making the chasm even wider and deeper by his words and actions. Since Harry has gone public with intimate details, I assume that the family finds it difficult to trust him. When a betrayal takes place, trust is lost and difficult to recover.
There is absolutely nothing that I can do to help Prince Harry reconcile with King Charles or Prince William, so there is no reason for me to know about their personal problems. Yet, it is difficult to miss the royal battle because of all the news items covering it. Harry insists that he tried to solve the problems privately before going public, but all signs seem to point to other reasons – such as the ability to earn millions of dollars by throwing his family under the bus.
It is difficult to refrain from taking sides in such a battle. This is one reason why a neutral mediator should be chosen to help solve the problem – not an airing to the public. Families will always have conflict, but wise parents will ensure that the conflicts are solved in the beginning stages rather than allowing them to destroy the family. There is conflict at every level of our lives, but we can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by learning how to manage conflict appropriately.