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  The Vortex Of Conflict Escalation  

James 4:1
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?

Conflicts in relationship is directly related to our desires and needs that are not met in relationships.

Colossians 3:13
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

When the parents are setting the limits for the children's behaviour, sometimes it may escalate into a conflict. When parents (rightly or wrongly) do not feel that children are meeting their expectations and when the children (rightly or wrongly) do not feel the parents are meeting their core emotional needs, there will be conflict.

If the parents are able to practice the principles of Good Enough Parenting, hopefully the conflicts would be sorted our constructively. However since the emotional part of the brain seems to work quicker than the rational part, this does not always happen.

At the heated environment, the conflict may escalate and become destructive as parent and child enter into what we call, "The Vortex of Conflict Escalation".

This vortex can involve the exchange of harsh words, throwing of trantrums or stonewalls of silence and sulking, but either way, it will harm the connection, mar the feeling of acceptance and damage the relationship.

Kindly consider the picture above on this page to understand how when child reacts when his need is not met triggering the parent to react when their expectation is not met. Just as children have their core emotional needs, the parents have their Expectations on their children.

Parents cannot expect the kids to meet their core emotional needs. Their needs have to be met in the marriage. It is not the kids responsibility to meet the parents emotional needs. These are normal healthy expectations from the parents on their children. They are :
1. Connection
2. Growth and performance
3. Responsibility and Respect

When children make progress in these areas, parents expectation would be fulfilled. Even if the child is not able to make progress, it is the responsibility of the parents to accept and love the children unconditionally. That is the key to Good Enough Parenting.

Many parents may have to check if they have unrealistic expectations and unreasonable limits imposed on their child. This again is experienced by the child as an exasperation interaction. Being aware of this situation and being vulnerable will help the parent to exit the vortex. For more information kindly refer to the Good Enough Parenting Book.

Today's Practical

When was the last time you got into a vortex of conflict escalation with your child? You can draw your own vortex.

Did you get mixed up expecting the child to meet your emotional needs?

Discuss with your spouse which of your expectation was not met by the child that triggered you to get sucked into the vortex.

Make a decision not to get sucked into the vortex in the future and learn to exit out of it by being vulnerable and not being reactive.