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Domestic Violence and Co-Parenting Class-Chapter Twenty-eight-Fair Fighting and Conflict Resolution

*Each lesson will come with a PDF download for you. You will also receive the URL for this lesson. It is essential you keep the URL for your lesson as that is the only way you will be able to access the lesson. You can continue online, you can print out the lesson, or you can return later using the URL.

PDF of Lesson Twenty-eight

URL for Lesson Two, http://www.program4angermanagement.com/dvcp28

Co-Parenting for Domestic Violence Class
Chapter Twenty-eight-Fair Fighting and Conflict Resolution
By Yvonne Sinclair M.A., LMFT

 Fighting can be productive or foolish. Fighting can be an effective way of communication. Fighting does not need to be bad or hurtful. Fighting can be productive and assertive. Foolish fighting will be discussed so you can compare and begin to notice the communication techniques that stop the resolution process. This chapter is primarily for the parents.

Foolish Fighting
 Foolish Fighting uses methods of communication that are not assertive. Foolish fighting methods bring up old issues to cloud the focus. Fighting Foolish will stop communication, sabotage your relationship, and possibly cause more pain and damage. Foolish fighting often escalates to yelling and then feels violent

 Methods that lead to Unproductive/Foolish Fighting
 Foolish fighting usually goes nowhere – just around and around – resolving nothing. Communication may escalate into violent behaviors. Here are some behaviors that are sometimes chosen in conflict resolution that are unproductive. This can apply to children, especially teenagers.
1.        Change the rules mid-game. Don’t stick to the agreed format for the discussion.
2.        Bring up past problems and issues. Even if you have never mentioned them before. Use sex to cloud the issues-“you never give me sex.”
3.        Raise your voice to get the upper hand and feel powerful.
4.        Step closer and raise your hand or point your finger to intimidate your partner and make them take you side.
5.        Interrupt your partner so that they cannot voice their concerns completely.
6.        Pretend to not be listening.
7.         Really don’t listen to your partner, spend the time they are talking thinking of what you will say back to them.|
8.         Make sure your partner knows you are right and they are wrong.
9.        Call names and label behavior as “mental” or “dumb.”
10.      Say, sarcastically, something like-“You are so right I am just scum.”

 Statements and Thinking Patterns that will Stop Communication.
If you use these statements you are using unproductive foolish fighting thinking.
“Oh it is not so bad!”
“Let’s not talk about it now. You will feel different later.”
“If you would just listen to me this wouldn’t have happened.”
“You talking stupid now.”
“What about what you did yesterday?’
“Here is why you are so wrong.”
Maybe you can think of other statements you have heard or used that stopped the communication in its tracks.

Here is a list of communication messages that will stop the progress of communication cold, not only with your partner but also with a child;
giving the solution,
kidding and teasing,
making a joke of the issue.
And using logic to be right.
 Productive Fighting
Productive fighting is a form of communication that resolves issues. When fighting productively we use assertive communication and stays focused on the problem. Fighting productively will get issues resolved and partners will feel heard

Before you begin your discussion or fight, agree on the issue you will discuss.
*Stick to that one issue.
*If one of you thinks of something else you need to discuss, write it down for later.
* Stay focused, stay open minded.
*Be clear of your own personal boundaries, needs, and wishes.
*Remember and know there does not have to be a right and wrong.
*You can both be right…just different. Right and Right.
*Try compromise.

One Big Rule; you can agree to disagree. This applies to children also. They can have an opinion, it does not make them sassy or with "attitude."
Structure for Time-out;

If one partner feels a need for a time out…or a need to stop the communication process, here is a good way to make the time- out positive.
You may need a time out to cool off or even just to collect your thoughts. You may want to check your own self-talk and review what you want to say in a calm quiet place so the discussion stays positive and productive. Anyone can call a time out for any reason-just say “I want a time-out”
When Time-out is called;

1. The amount of the time needed to stated…”I will be back in ½ hour (or however much time the person needs) and we can start again.”
2. Each partner goes to a separate place (either in the house, for a walk, or drive).
3. At the appointed time partners return and start again. OR make an appointment for a later time to try over.

Rules for Productive Fighting
There are rules to “fighting” fair and productive.

Following are some of those rules.
 1.        First rule- take turns.
One person talks at a time. The other listens. Chapter one in this program teaches reflective listening. If you have studied that chapter, get out the communication guide and feelings cheat sheet to help with this project. The guide will help you take turns and listen.
2.       Practice reflective listening.
Make sure your understanding of the speakers statement is clear by repeating back to the speaker what you feel you heard and give the speaker a chance to say “that is/or was not” what I wanted you to hear. If the answer is “no” then the speaker can repeat the statement, perhaps in another way. Remember, as you learned in Chapter One, we listen and speak through our life filters. If the listener hears differently than the speaker intended, it is not spoken wrong or heard wrong, only different.
3.        Stay focused on the issue you agreed to discuss, try not to generalize or bring up other issues. If other subjects come up remember to write then down for later.
4.        Set you boundaries together and each one observe those rules. Respect each other’s rights to say no or yes. Respect each other’s right to take a break or discuss the issue later.
5.        Be honest with yourself and your partner.
6.        If you need a time out ask for it and if you are asked for a time out – respect that need.
7.        Give respect that is how you get respect.
8.        No violence, physical or emotional – like threats, names calling, finger pointing, or yelling. Keep the “hooks” out of your statements. We learned about hooks in Chapter one. A hook goes like this. You might say “Oh you are wearing that dress I gave you---finally.” The “finally” is the hook. It makes the statement negative and possible hurtful. Keep the hooks out of you communication especially when you are trying to resolve an issue.

Admit when you are mistaken…it is human. Last time I checked it was quite okay to be human.

Agree there is no right and wrong. If you have to be right it may stop communication and prevent any resolution. Remember you can agree to disagree. No right and wrong, just right and right and different.

If you want to resolve an issue in your fighting, here are some attitudes and responses that will make that possible. Avoid a power struggle. Avoid the right/wrong trap, especially with children.
Be supportive,
Listen respectfully,
Offer ways to compromise,
Be willing to compromise,
Eye contact,
Reflective listening,

Say things like;
Thank you for sharing with me,
I know,
I bet it feels that way,
I know you feel that way,
What do you want to do?
I don’t know,
What do you think?

Let’s talk about rights.
Here are some real rights each person, even children, deserves. Take them to heart and remember your partner has the same rights.
You have the right to feel, feelings just are. Feelings are always present. Like weather they are either calm and we don’t notice them or they are like a hurricane and we can’t miss them. Emotions are not good or bad, they may feel good or bad, but they just are. You do not make them. Feelings are like your barometer to your world. Happy comes and something is telling you “hello something is happening you like.” If you begin to feel angry your barometer is saying “hey pay attention this is not good for you.” Your partner does not make your emotions. Only you can allow yourself to feel. That goes for happy, sad and angry. You cannot make anyone else mad and he or she cannot make you mad, so don’t give him or her that power.

You have the right to disagree with anything you feel is wrong or off course to the resolution of the issue you agreed on.
You have the right to be wrong…you have the right to make a mistake.
You have the right to put yourself first. Putting others needs before your own, routinely, is co-dependent behavior and unhealthy.
You have the right to your own opinions and beliefs.
You have the right to consider and reject others advice.
You have the right to choose.
You have the right to claim your actions as right for you and not defend them.
You have the right to say no and the right to say yes.
You have the right to ask for help and support from your partner.
You have the right to be happy.
You have the right to be you.

Together decide on the following;
1.     The issue to be resolved.
2.     Agree to respect time-out requests.
3.     Stay on the subject. Write down any other issues that may come up and need to be discussed later.
4.     Respect the other person’s right to disagree.
5.     Compromise.
6.     Put the resolution on hold until later if needed.

If you keep the tools in the toolbox nothing will change. Take them out and give it a try. Remember changing old behaviors is hard work. Don’t get discouraged; you have spent many years honing the fighting style you use now. Give yourself some time to make this new assertive conflict resolution style work for you. Most of these concepts can be used in resolving issues with your child.

 Copyright 2011. All material contained herein is owned and protected. Any attempts to reproduce this information without the express written consent from the owner will be prosecuted.

Congratulations, you are finished with the 28th  lesson on domestic violence and co-parenting.
When you complete the four questions for Lesson 28 Quiz you will be automatically given Lesson 29.

LESSON Twenty-eight QUIZ

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