Rules for Fair Fighting in Families

Yes, it is OK to fight in a family as long as you establish some rules.  There is a fair and unfair way to fight in families and it is up to the parents to set these guidelines and enforce them.   As of this posting we have them hanging on our refrigerator.  We even devoted a (or several) family meetings to them.  Here they are.

  1. Listen and try to understand where others are coming from.
  2. Avoid yelling, verbal threats, or abuse (keep it ramped down).
  3. Maintain a honoring, respectful and loving atmosphere.
  4. No name-calling.
  5. Use an open communication style.
  6. Keep the focus off the person’s character.
  7. Don’t bring in past “garbage.”
  8. No violence.
  9. Avoid accusatory language (e.g., “You never…You always…”).
  10. Only one person talks at a time.

I’ve added some biblical principles here too:

  1. If you break one of the rules apologize with a sincere, “I’m sorry.”
  2. The party being apologized to should reply with a sincere, “I forgive you.”
  3. Deal with the issue before the end of the day, never sweep an issue under the rug.
  4. After trying to resolve an issue face to face unsuccessfully, bring in a third party to mediate.
  5. Always pray before you try to resolve something, it will often soften hearts along the way.

Happy fighting.