The Conflict Management Toolbox for Families

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1.Commit to God’s plan that leads to a oneness marriage.

2. Build on a union driven by the man and obey divine order as regards headship of the man.

3. Good communication is important built on respect and openness.

4. Take each other’s feelings into account before doing anything.

5. Express feelings, concerns and expectations calmly.

6. Make your spouse your priority.

7. Unite to solve your problems with respect.  Don’t assume the worst. There are many possible reasons for his or her behaviour. Be honest, open come up with solutions together. Promote a common ground. View

8. Encourage dialogue. Allow him complete his sentence before replying. Stay on the subject. Take responsibility for your own responses.

9.Accept responsibility for your own role in the disagreement. Initiate contact.

10. Be willing to forgive.

11. Be trustworthy. Trust each other. Avoid suspicion.

12. Help him become the leader of your family.

13. Be a good listener.

14. Understand, know each other.

15. Respect, encourage, admire, accept him.

16. Appreciate him for taking the lead. Appreciate his initiatives.

17. Be her best friend.

18. Give her attention, love and care. Tell her you love her.

19. Offer your advice and help if he asks for it.

20. He has a good sense of humour.

21. Turn your fights into good ones.

22.Figure out the real problem, concerns, needs.

23. Support him in providing for the family. Discuss. Let there be openness. Let there be agreement.

24. Shun ego, assumption, defensiveness, impatience.

25. In making decisions make use of her opinions, insights and suggestions.

26. Meet his emotional needs.

27. Understand the other person’s point of view.

28. Be hard working with direction.

29. Encourage your partner’s dreams and goals.

30. Be happy with each other’s successes and achievements. Be there for each other when things go right.

31. Give unconditional love to your wife. Appreciate those things she does.

32. Love your mother-in-law. Make her love you.

33. Get along with the family.

34. Share his interests.

35. Let go of wanting to be right. A third position may exist.

36. Honour your parents.

37. Take your children on visits to their grandparents. Help them stay connected with their grandparents.

38. Be aware and respectful of each other’s differences. Manage these differences.

39. Look good for him.

40. Keep each other informed of happenings at end of each day. Do not condemn or judgmental. Support each other get over difficult situations.

41. Make financial decisions together. Ensure financial intimacy. Be financially responsible.

42. Don’t think it is greener on the other side.

43. Stay positive. View your spouse in a positive light.

44. Admit when wrong and apologize. Do not take it personally.

45. Protect your partner. Portray your spouse in good light to your family.

46. Watch how your attitude and actions impact on your spouse. Figure out what the other person is feeling.

47. Spend more time together.

48. Organize, take care of your home.

49. Treat your spouse better than you treat anyone else.

50. Paint the big picture.

51. Ensure physical intimacy.

52. Many people have worse problems but prefer to  work it out.

53. Not who is right but what is right.

54. Change yourself to change your spouse.

55. Don’t cheat on her. Be faithful.


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With the Children

The father, his children’s hero.

Model good behaviour for your children. Teach your children morals and right values.

Teach them by example. Provide good example for your children and every member of your household.

Raise your children to know God.

The mother, there for every member of her household.

A mother, helping her family do what is right,

kind, insightful, observant, watchful

A praying wife and mother.


Antidote for Divorce is to Nip it in the Bud

Pheasant v Pheasant [1972] 1 All ER 587

The fact of this case may seem ridiculous!   The petitioner husband alleged that the wife had not given him the spontaneous demonstrative affection which his nature demanded and for which he craved. He claimed it caused the marriage to breakdown irretrievably.

This case emphasizes the fact that an issue no matter how trivial can grow to become exceedingly big to threaten a marriage. No matter how minor, mundane or frivolous an issue may seem to an outsider, it means so much to those concerned. It must not be left unattended or mismanaged or would become an albatross capable of jeopardizing the relationship.

In this instance, the husband went the way of divorce.  Another person in a similar situation may have opted for extramarital affairs to satisfy his emotional needs which he missed at home. He would justify his actions that his wife pushed him into it. That she should accept responsibility for her role in causing the problem.

One wonders if the man tried to communicate his needs to her. Maybe he did but she did not listen well enough to understand his feelings and concerns or took it lightly and when he started fuming she thought he was being impossible.  Why didn’t they engage in a discussion to resolve the issue and reconcile? Did they try but it failed to resolve their differences?

It may be that the wife did not understand or know how to meet this need as one of the love languages of her husband. Many marriages have failed because of a partner’s inability to identify the needs of his or her spouse and learn to meet them.

It is important to consider if they have their private time that they spend together to catch up on their relationship and also to discuss their issues. If they believe a problem is serious and beyond discussion they could initiate communication through writing, a note and follow up with discussion.

No problem should be too big for couples to discuss and resolve but this needs cooperation of both parties. They should be willing to work together at the challenges to help the marriage and make it work.

There is another alternative instead of going to court for the purpose of dissolving the marriage. They should have explored counselling with the help of their pastor or marriage counsellor.

Even though hostility had built up over time making it emotionally charged and difficult for them to sit together to settle the matter, it is still not hopeless. They can go for mediation. They can seek the help of an independent third party mediator to help them work together to resolve the issue. This would have helped unearth the underlying cause that got lost in battle. It would have facilitated communication and expression of the need the way the wife would have understood.

There are different ways to save a marriage together.  The minor issue in this case festered and almost succeeded in permanently tearing the couple apart. This should not have happened if at the early stage the problem was nipped in the bud through communication, good listening, respect and understanding. They would have negotiated their differences through dialogue and resolved.

What came up for determination by the court was whether there was a breach of obligation between both parties. The court held that there was nothing in the wife’s behavior which could be regarded as a breach on her part of any of the obligations of the marriage. This decision is a big relief because it could have gone the other way!

It is instructive through this case that no issue should be perceived as unimportant in marriage. Every misunderstanding requires attention. Inside every problem is a seed that has the potential of growing to harm and destroy a relationship.

Having gone through all this they have to contend with the problem of reconnecting. The wife would need to roll out truckloads of spontaneous affection and this has to be sustained along with meeting his other needs. The husband on his part for taking her to court in addition to meeting her emotional needs has to go all out to do those things that will make her really happy.

They can achieve much if they can restore the love they both enjoyed at the beginning of their marriage. They should add to this their fantasies spiced with forgiveness.


Teens – Let’s Talk about those Stuff that Matter



It is said that ‘you go as the friends or company you keep’. Choose your friends wisely. Stay away from those who give you bad advice, make you do what you do not want to do or what is not right. This is peer pressure. Avoid negative influences. Learn to say ‘No’ and mean it.

Make friends with those who share your values and interests. Associate with good and responsible people. Associate with those who make positive impact on you and influence you to be better. Remember, someone who stops being your friend was never a friend.

Some teenagers give in to peer pressure because they want to be liked, they do not want to be made fun of or due to curiosity. Walk away from situations and people that will make you compromise your standards or convictions.

Teens who know what they want and are not afraid to say ‘no’ to negative peer pressure attract the respect and admiration of others.

Avoid those who coerce, tease, intimidate or threaten others. They are bullies. Ignore them. They act to gain attention. They usually end up in trouble. A bully is the one with a problem not you. The good news is that they can change their behaviour. Well-behaved teenagers are liked and attract the respect of their peers.

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Your body

Protect your body from substances that can be harmful to your body and mind. Stay away from drugs, alcohol and cigarette. Avoid people who use them and pressure others to do the same. Indulge in those things that promote your health, safety and well-being.

Some young people get introduced to drugs, alcohol and smoking by their friends. They experiment with these substances because they desire acceptance and become addicted.

Some in search of relief when going through emotional pain try these illicit substances and instead of finding relief become addicted. They rely on smoking or drinking to make their hurt go away temporarily but these are wrong options.

It is normal for a young person to be bored, depressed or experience emotional pain sometimes due to problems at school, in the family or neighborhood. We all pass through difficult times. The good news is that this will also go away. Stay positive. Read, participate in team sports, exercise, art or writing and other gainful activities.

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Sexual values

There are some things that should wait. Sex is one of them. Abstain from sex. This is meant to take place in marriage. Some teens have sex because their friends pressure them to. A friend who pressure you to have sex is not a good friend. Do not allow anyone lure, blackmail or intimidate you into having sex or doing what you do not want to do.

Sex can lead to serious consequences such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), parenthood, dropping out of school and shame. Chasity is a wise and healthy choice. It demonstrates a healthy self-esteem. It prevents getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant. This way you don’t miss out on your youthful years.

Do not get involved in a relationship it can be a major distraction. Dress decently and responsibly, avoid kissing and do not allow wrong touching.  Develop healthy friendships characterized by respect and consideration for the other person.

Concentrate on your studies. Share knowledge, information and ideas. Focus on the importance of higher education, benefits of furthering your education and skills.

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Do what is right

Avoid inappropriate materials and values portrayed by the media, internet and lyrics of music. Make responsible choices. Read, participate in sports playing or as a fan.

Be a positive role model for others. Do what is right. If it is bad because others are doing it does not make it right. Do not be afraid to be different.

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Be obedient. Learn to communicate with your parents. Confide in your parents. Talk to them when facing difficulties, fears and when confused.

You can talk to trusted and responsible adults, your teacher or school counsellor.

Stay happy

Acknowledge individual differences and peculiarities. We cannot all be the same. Be happy for the success of others. Be yourself. Dream big.

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Get to know God. Build a relationship with Him. You’ve got to fulfill God’s plan for your life.


Positive Parenting : Raise a Happy Child

Image result for positive parenting images and picturesA parent has responsibility for good upbringing of his or her child. Your parenting style to a large extent influences the future of your child, shapes his or her behavior, impacts his/her development, determines how well prepared the child is to realize his or her full potential and become the person or adult he or she is meant to be.

Communicate Better
Help your child communicate freely with you. Learn to communicate and listen to your child. Don’t presume anything, communicate with him or her. Make use of positive and effective communication in your interactions with your child, spouse and others this will help your child pick up good social skills and relate better with you and others.

Let your child talk about how his or her day went. Help your child express himself or herself and take time to listen. Model positive communication. This will help you raise a problem solver and not a confrontational child.

Meet Basic Needs
Meet your child’s specific needs these include physical needs and emotional needs for love and care. When you fail to provide these basic needs you are neglecting the child. Love your child unconditionally but you do not have to say ‘yes’ to everything your child demands sometimes you can’t afford it and sometimes you should not. Explain to the child when you can’t.

Create Structure

It is not enough to teach your child good values your life must demonstrate what you teach. Training is best done by example children learn better and faster by copying what they see around them. A parent is a child’s model. What you say and do in the presence of your child matters. Be a good example in the use of language, dress, conduct and attitude. Teach your children the values of honesty, respect, determination, love, consideration, patience, perseverance and justice.

Create a family routine and structure. Cook meals. Teach your children to do household chores early and create fun doing this.


Connect with each child
Love each of your children unconditionally. Understand each child as a unique individual. Communicate, listen to, notice your child. Help him/her develop his/her unique talents and gifts.

Give individual child attention even if it is for a few minutes a day. Let your children know through your actions everyone of them is important to you and you would need to check on each one of them. This will stem sibling rivalry. This will help them love one another. Let them know how lucky they are to have one another.

Be there for your child. Show interest and participate in activities that are meaningful to him/her. Be a friend to their friends. Honour school invitations, know the teachers. Be his/her number one fan.

Have dinner together. Use it to catch up on the day’s happenings. Make it positive and happy. Allow your child express himself/herself, his feelings and needs. Children these days are facing tremendous challenges due to advancement in technology they are bombarded with all sorts of negative media. Guide your child and build his/her self-esteem through communicating your love to him/her.

Play together. Do not be neglectful show positive physical contact touch, hug, smile and play with your child. Express your affection to your child. Know where your child is and who he/she is with at all times.

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Discipline positively
Discipline your child in love. Correct in love. Discipline with kindness and firmness. Let your child know what is expected of him/her. What will not be tolerated and what will be appreciated.

Set boundaries or limits with positive or negative consequences. Be consistent about this to get it established.

Communicate clear expectations of how to behave concerning the use of language, honesty, attendance at school, drinking, sexual conduct, sharing in household chores, participation in after-school activities, etc.

When a complaint is made concerning your child listen to his/her side before responding. When your child makes a wrong choice disapprove of the misbehavior and help your child handle such situation differently next time.

Do not exert power over your child, use your parental authority reasonably. Treat your child with respect. Know when to give your child choices, how to support him/her in making decisions and behaving appropriately. The more controlling a parent is the more rebellious teenagers are likely to become. Provide guidance but respect your child’s feelings and choices.

As you discipline and set boundaries affirm your child, appreciate his/her uniqueness and peculiarities and fulfill your responsibilities to him/her.

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Never lose control.
Do not yell. Do not rebuke him or her sharply, criticize or put him/her down. Listen to his/her explanations before disciplining him/her.

Do not take your problems out on your child. Keep your anger from erupting into violent acts and hurtful words. Do not beat your child or any child in anger. Do not beat him/her in public.

Encourage your child to talk to you about everything. Let him know he can talk to you about anything that you will listen attentively, calmly, counsel, rebuke with love and understanding, guide and direct.

Never fight before your child. Do not fight or quarrel with your spouse in the presence of your children. If you do, settle it quickly and make up. Let your children learn that conflict is inevitable but how you manage it is important.

Handle conflicts effectively
When your child exhibits challenging behaviors or when he has made wrong choices, evaluate the impact of your parenting style in your child’s life.

Look beyond the rebellious behavior to the causes behind it. Ascertain to what extent you are responsible for what is happening as well as other influences at work.

Communicate with your child. Ask questions to make him express his feelings, needs and concerns. Pay attention to your own attitudes, habits and approach to parenting in terms of discipline, love, guidance and meeting the basic needs of the child. Offer sincere apology and seek forgiveness for genuine shortcomings.

Do not apportion blame but decide on what should be done from now on in your relationship with your child. Do not try to make up for past mistakes by becoming overly permissive but set out in a new direction with your child.

When faced with a difficult or stressful relationship with your child you can seek for help from a counsellor, social worker or a mediator.

Help your children know God

Raise your children God’s way. Help them build a relationship with God. Inspire them to love God’s Word. Be a praying parent. Pray for your children.




Social Problems: Focus on Social Protection

The spate and magnitude of insecurity in Nigeria is alarming and deeply agonizing. It would leave the tough and strong-hearted drained, confused and devastated. The bombings, the killings, the abductions, the kidnappings, killing and maiming of innocent citizens including children! It is unthinkable as it is unimaginable!

When criminalities nothing compared to current happenings occur, the immediate reaction is to go after the culprits, apprehend them and bring them to book. These in many cases meet with delays, failures and a times misplaced justice. In this regard we need a change of strategy.

The pertinent question is what is responsible for these occurrences? What are the causes of these dastardly and despicable incidents? In addition to ongoing efforts that are mostly reactive, the situation also calls for effective crisis management that is proactive, preemptive and preventive. These include conflict management strategies that emphasize care, support and infrastructure.

There is always the feeling of nostalgia when people recall the good old days when there was communal living characterized by a strong sense of community, people looked out for one another, pool resources, shared meals, help, protect, cared for one another and resolve conflicts amicably. There was a sense of belonging and meeting one another’s needs. They were their brothers’ keepers.

This sense of cohesion got lost over time. Many families are struggling with harsh economic conditions and its consequences, unemployment, poverty, accommodation problems and social isolation which may result in family tensions.

Family stress could lead to serious disagreements between parents, family breakdown or violence posing great dangers to children or long term harm which may be associated with children’s behavioural problems with consequences on their education and future, emotional damage and crime.

A principle of conflict resolution is to understand the root cause or sources of a problem to determine the strategy required to fix it. It is widely believed that to prevent a problem from occurring is better than searching for a cure. Considering the spate of youth joblessness and the danger it portends.

This and the ideals of communal living find expression through the children’s law, Child’s Rights Act. It mandates State Governments to identify disadvantaged children within their areas assess their needs and provide services appropriate to their needs including financial assistance where necessary.

It provides solutions to address some of the problems faced by families and their children and youths. It proffers pointers that will drastically reduce the prevalence of social problems such that youths are not rendered vulnerable and made pawns in the hands of the unscrupulous.

It mandates the establishment of family centres in every State of the Federation where needy children and their families can visit when in need of support and assistance to meet their unique individual family needs. A family-friendly facility they can turn to when in distress. They can be established by government or voluntary agencies. This serves as a viable means of emotional outlet and promotes a sense of belonging.

This will protect families, at-risk youths and single mothers. It will provide education, empowerment and emotional support to vulnerable children and help to their families. Those with one need or the other can walk or call in to trade helplessness hopelessness for hope and care.

We need to encourage proactive approach to support and empower families in need, make them strong to protect children and youths. It is not only the children and their families that will benefit the society as well!
It is expedient to emphasize the establishment of family centres playing down the paraphernalia of government to make it user-friendly and encourage patronage. We need this in addition to having God in our lives.