Helping you get through tough times

Father’s (Hallmark) Day 2013

Abstract by Nicki PaulieThis Sunday is Father’s Day. A chance to express gratitude and thanks for all your dad has done. Or if your father is no-longer with you, then it might be a day of remembrance.

Marking the occasion

What we all do for Father’s Day will vary. Maybe you buy your old man dinner, or a token present. If you don’t live nearby you send thoughts in a card. Or, as in my case, you annually forget all about it, and so have to buy a belated, elaborate gift instead.

Not always easy

You could come from a family where there is pressure to acknowledge Father’s and Mother’s Days, or else your family turns its nose up at these ‘Hallmark holidays’.  Whatever situation you’re in, one thing we all have in common is that relationships with our parents and families are not always easy.

We’ve all seen Brady Bunch type dramas on TV that sometimes make us question our own family life. No matter how happy a family appears on the surface though, at some point everyone has disagreements. It’s worth remembering that all households have their own issues.

Causes of conflict

While all problems vary, often the root causes can be similar. Conflict with parents or guardians can stem from differences in the generations, or a feeling that they don’t understand you. Maybe there are boundary problems, or disagreements on the amount of freedom you each think you should be allowed.

Pressure to behave a certain way or live up to expectations (real or perceived) can cause stress too – especially around exam time as many of us have probably just experienced.

How to deal with disputes

Often just taking a breath and counting to 10 can calm a situation down, or help how you deal with it, at least in the short-term. Communicating effectively, taking the time to talk things through at the right moment, and trying not to jump to conclusions can also help to ease tensions.

Seeing the bigger picture

It’s worth remembering that parents and guardians are people too. Despite appearances they’re probably not being antagonistic for the sake of it. They most likely have their own worries and burdens which might be affecting their behaviour with you. Simply agreeing to disagree could be a way of negotiating peace with your family.


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