Family Sphere Exercise: Problem-Solution Options
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Family issues can be enormously complex, so this exercise isn’t meant to serve as the definitive approach for everyone. Nonetheless, it may help you think about the family issues you face from a fresh perspective. I’ve listed some of the most common family problems, followed by options for problem-solving actions. Go through the option for the particular problem you face and consider whether you might take advantage of an option:
Problem No. 1: Family feud conflict with other family member results in disconnection.
Option No. 1: Initiate written contact use a very positive letter or e-mail to break the ice.
Option No. 2: Arrange a breakfast, lunch, or dinner to talk about the issue in a public place (thus increasing the odds that you and the other person will be on your best behavior).
Option No. 3: Bring along a mediator to a meeting with the family member to help you both work through the issues.
Problem No. 2 s Adolescent rebellion son or daughter acting out and creating havoc in the household.
Option No. 1: Try more tolerance; loosen the discipline a bit as long as your child’s behavior isn’t endangering himself or others.
Option No. 2: Try more discipline; tighten the reins if you believe your child has been taking advantage of your tolerance and trying to see how much he can get away with.
Option No. 3: Use more emotional honesty and less judgment; stop telling your child that what she’s doing is wrong and start telling her how you feel and think about what she’s doing. Realize that your child may have different opinions.
Problem No. 3: Decreasing family bonds less communication and emotional connection with siblings, parents, adult children, cousins.
Option No. 1: Hold regular family reunions to improve connections.
Option No. 2: Commit to using different communication tools phone, letter, e-mail, in-person visits to establish contact with greater frequency.
Option No. 3: Tell the disconnected family member how you feel about the growing distance (rather than ignoring the topic or talking about it in nonfeeling terms).
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