3 Ways to Resolve Family Disputes

Written By Alla Levin via a partnership with BetterHelp
March 29, 2022

Why You May Be Having Family Issues and How to Fix Them

Ways to Resolve Family Disputes. Leo Tolstoy famously said that “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This means that it can be difficult to offer general advice about family disputes. Nonetheless, there are many aspects of family issues that tend to be similar and can thus be resolved in the same sorts of ways.

While finding peace within your family can certainly be challenging, it is well worth striving for. Far too many families have unreconciled disputes that have simmered for years. There are countless stories of siblings and parents and children who haven’t spoken for years—or, even more, heartbreaking, people who never reconciled before one of them passed away. As you might expect, this can result in severe feelings of regret.

In order to help you achieve a more healthy family dynamic, this article will aim to help you understand why you may be having family issues, plus three ways that you can attempt to resolve them, including holding a family meeting, doing something you all enjoy, and seeking professional help.

What’s at the Root of Your Family Issues?

There’s an important word in the heading above the root. Many family issues may be hard to understand at the surface level. There’s often a lot of context and backstory for understanding just why the dispute is occurring in the first place.

So, any time you’re confronting a family issue, take some time to reflect on what may be the real source of the issue. Take passive-aggressive behavior, for example. This kind of behavior is almost always concealing a deeper source of discontent. So, ask yourself why someone in your family is engaging in this kind of behavior. Of course, it may be difficult to resolve family issues on your own, which is why it’s never a bad idea to seek advice: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/family/

3 Ways to Resolve Your Family Issues

While there are many ways you may resolve your family issues, here are three ways that have helped many families deal with uncomfortable situations.

Have a Family MeetingHave a Family Meeting

Communication issues are often the source of family issues, like the passive-aggressive behavior mentioned above. Rather than beat around the bush or outright ignore the issue, confronting it head-on is your best bet. This can be achieved quite simply by having a family meeting.

While this may seem like something that only happens on TV sitcoms, that’s not the case. Family meetings can—and arguably should—form part of a healthy family dynamic. This helps keep communication flowing and can even prevent small problems from growing into big issues.

In your family meeting, make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak their mind. That means parents, grandparents, children—every member of the household. Simply letting everyone speak will have the effect of creating a sense of fairness and equality, which is an important aspect of a happy household.

Do Something You All Enjoy

While it’s important to confront your issues directly, sometimes doing something fun together can help strengthen your family bond and help squash any issues or disputes at the same time. What’s really important is that it’s something you all enjoy, which might be tough.

You want to avoid a situation where one or more people end up feeling excluded. So, don’t choose a concert that you and your partner want to see but your kids would hate. Try to do something that all of you can enjoy, whether that’s a theme park, dinner, movie, sporting event, etc.

By coming together and having fun, you will hopefully remember that what you have as a family is an incredible bond that nothing can truly match in life. Although serious issues absolutely must be discussed, less severe issues may simply be forgotten about and overcome through quality time.

Seek Help Resolve Family Disputes

First of all, getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It takes serious strength to recognize that there’s a problem and that it’s at the point where outside help would be beneficial. Think about it—family is already a reminder that we are better when supported by others.

So, if your family isn’t quite at its best, don’t worry! You can regain your healthy family dynamic with the help of a counselor. This might be a religious leader in your community, or a wise neighbor or relative. It doesn’t necessarily matter who it is as long as their guidance is effective and trustworthy.

That said, if the problem is severe, it is probably your best bet to seek the help of a licensed counselor. Family counseling has changed the lives of many families for the better. It just takes a little leap of faith, and while it may be tough to get everyone in the family on board, they’ll be happy they did once you’ve worked together on establishing a healthy family dynamic.


Family disputes can be downright heartbreaking. If you don’t want your family to become one of those sad stories—for example, where a child and parent no longer speak—you need to be proactive.

Whether you hold a family meeting, do a fun activity together, or seek help (or some combination), you can achieve a healthier family dynamic by taking the time and effort to work on any disputes or issues you may be having.

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