Extinguishing conflict requires good communication. Here are some basic pointers on how to mediate a family quarrel and restore peace to your home.

Most of you reading this would know that conflict resolution is a staple in just about every workplace.

I don’t think I would be met with a whole lot of disagreement by asserting that the same emphasis should also be applied in the home.

Two people step up to the plate to face off with one another over a beef that can have any number of causes and consequences. Some causes are just petty irritations. Other causes are symptoms of something a lot more serious.

Case Scenario

Consider this scene involving the bumbling Dunder Mifflin and office manager Michael Scott in The Office:


The first crisis involves a difference of opinion about art. The second concerns a graver crisis about inappropriate breaches of personal space.

Each crisis is a no-win situation. This doesn’t stop Scott from preferring the Human Resource Manual’s “win-win-win” option.

Instead of mediating a resolution, Scott escalates the conflict.

He misses the point. Conflict resolution is about crisis management. It’s about mentoring people through conflict.

Using a sledgehammer to jam a one-eyed solution down the throats of those involved tends to fuel a crisis, intensify conflict, and produce resentment.

Don’t Play Pretend

It’s like households who would rather play “happy families” and bury the dirt under the rug, than address a volatile situation in order to resolve it.

Such a family tends to end in everyone being forced to walk on eggshells for fear of breaking the pretence of peace — an atmosphere of non-communication somewhat aptly described by John Mayer as “Heartbreak Warfare.”

Training Required

Inside the workplace, management is trained and then trained some more on the importance of restoring peace when the fragile fabric of the ecosystem they oversee is threatened by strife.

Solving an in-house crisis requires good communication, tact, objectivity, honesty, and sometimes compromise.

The same can be applied in the home.

I asked my wife and kids to write down some of the top areas of conflict resolution I’ve been able to bring into our home from my own management training and experience.

Here’s what they wrote:

  1. Find out what has happened, and who has done what.
  2. Use the information given to come to a conclusion.
  3. Don’t be irrational. Try to calm things down.
  4. Try not to escalate the problem by asking questions.
  5. Hear all sides of the fight or argument. If necessary, get witnesses.
  6. Don’t attack the person. Mediate by affirming “I” statements, not “You” statements.
  7. Give room for both sides to speak uninterrupted.
  8. Seek an explanation, not excuses.
  9. Stick to the issue at hand. Deal with one crisis and or concern at a time.
  10. The goal is justice; a just resolution, and if necessary, reconciliation through restitution.

Pause for Prayer

I’m a Christian. So, I also aim to start, then part with resolutions grounded in the Bible and prayer.

I say aim, because regardless of the conflict between two flawed people that I might be mediating, I’m forced to acknowledge that I’m flawed too.

With how urgent and emotionally intense some conflicts can be, I’ll be the first to admit, pausing for prayer is not something I always remember to do, despite its benefits.

This is an area I haven’t perfected. I’m thankful that grace carries us through the grittiness of life together.


Another thing to remember is that there is no perfect formula for conflict resolution. Every situation, every crisis presents its own unique characteristics, its own set of challenges.

There is no room for shoot first, ask questions later.

Conflict resolution is conflict management. It involves mentoring people through a crisis.

As a father of five, the three general guidelines that I try to follow are: Keep it simple. Keep it calm. Keep it honest.

To repurpose a statement from Australian writer Mark Powell,

“It is simply wrong to categorically #BelieveAllVictims. Because the basic principle of justice is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”


About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.

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