The modern family is faced with more challenges than ever. Poverty, natural disasters, addiction, death, and countless other tragedies can result in terse communications, hurt feelings, and lost connections. Thankfully, it is possible to heal your family and re-establish healthy connections, regardless of age, status, or situation. These five solutions can help.

  • Understand the Situation and Its Contributing Factors

Before a family can heal, they must first understand why the fallout occurred, along with any factors that may have contributed to it. Start by first examining the issue at hand. What do you think went wrong, and why? Consider what might help to rectify the situation and develop a reasonable action plan.

As you move forward, preparing to make contact with estranged family members, be sure to develop and maintain realistic expectations. The healing process doesn’t happen overnight. It can be a slow and painstaking process, and setbacks along the way are common.

  • Use the 4-Step Nonviolent Communication Methodology

People are less likely to respond positively if they feel threatened or blamed. Feeling words and use of the four-step nonviolent communication strategy, or NVC, can help reduce the risk of such issues.

The four steps to this communicating with this process are:

1. Observation – “When I hear you say…”

2. Feeling – “I feel…”

3. Voicing Needs – “Because I need/value…”

4. Request – “Would you be willing to…”

It is critical for the speaker to avoid placing blame. The request should also be something that the other person can reasonably do.

  • Accept Accountability and Be Willing to Forgive

When feelings are hurt, people often fail to see their own accountability in a situation. If you truly want to heal your family, it is critical that you do not fall into this trap.

When you apologize for a mistake, don’t follow it with an explanation or excuse. Instead, focus on how your words or actions may have hurt the other person. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Admit that you were wrong, say you’re sorry (and really mean it).

If you’re the one who was hurt, be willing to forgive the other person, even if they aren’t able to accept accountability yet. Just be sure to also develop healthy boundaries for the future.

Using sound scripture and scientific observation, Dr. Henry Wright leads the reader on a journey of personal responsibility” says the team at Be In Health “identifying root causes to specific diseases and offering pathways of healing and wholeness that were never meant to remain dormant in the body of Christ.”

  • Reconnect Through Low-Conflict Activities

Families can be extremely fragile during the initial healing stages. Hurt feelings often simmer below the surface, and even the smallest misunderstanding can cause them to explode.

To avoid further altercations, interactions may need to be limited. Start by planning low-conflict activities, preferably in public places. Major low-ups are less likely to occur when there are potential witnesses.

  • Ask a Professional for Assistance

Not every problem can be fixed, and certainly, there are problems that require the assistance of a professional. If your family is still struggling, or if you suspect that your family’s issues may be too big and complex to fix on your own, consider asking for help.

Family counselors, licensed psychologists and psychiatrists, and even church counselors are all viable options. These individuals serve as mediators, and they can help each person see things through the perspective of other family members.