It’s normal to disagree with your family from time to time. Arguments with your parents or siblings are all part of what makes up family life. However, if the same fights keep happening and nothing seems to be helping the situation, it can make you feel frustrated and overwhelmed.
You might feel like alcohol or drugs can help you escape however it’s more likely that it will make things worse. Conflicts and sometimes violence can be a result of drugs or alcohol misuse.
No matter what, you should always feel safe. If you feel threatened or unsafe due to issues at home, you don’t have to go through it alone. If you don’t have a trusted adult in your life you can call us on 1800 014 446 to talk through it. You can also contact the following organisations:
- Lifeline :13 11 14
- Kids help line 1800 551 800
- or if you want to chat online go to: https://www.eheadspace.org.au/
There are also a number of things you can do to help you deal with tough times at home.
WHY DOES FAMILY CONFLICT HAPPEN?
Arguments and conflict within the family can happen for any number of reasons. Misunderstandings Differences of opinion
Shifts in power or control Lack of trust Neglect Abuse
Whatever the reason, fights with your family or carers can often be the most intense. This can be due to family members being so close that they’re not afraid to ‘let it all hang out’ during an argument! Which can often result in saying or doing things that you later regret.
WHAT ARE SOME EFFECTIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH FAMILY TENSION?
Bring up the issue when you’re both calm and not upset or angry. It can be difficult to see the other person’s point of view when you’re right in the thick of an argument. Pick a time to talk when you’re both feeling calm and together. This can make finding a solution a million times easier.
Listen. Once you’ve said your piece, give the other person a chance to explain their side of things, and give them your full attention. Sometimes feeling like you’re not listening to one another can be a big part of the problem in the first place.
Be flexible and willing to compromise. When dealing with conflict, it can be helpful to have a number of different outcomes that you’re willing to accept. Try not to get stuck on one specific thing happening - it’s a two way street and compromise is key.
Make positive changes to your lifestyle. Drug and alcohol misuse can often add fuel to the fire of a family conflict. Instead of using drugs and alcohol to escape the situation, try clearing your mind with some exercise or partaking in some kind of personal hobby. (FYI exercise can just mean skating to the 711 for a slurpee, no need to run out and get a gym membership if it’s not your thing!)
If you find none of the above works there are options call our 24 hour free YoDAA Line: 1800 458 685..
If you are ever in danger don’t be afraid to call ooo for emergency assistance