6 Ways to Peacefully Co-Exist with an Extended Family - BlogPh.net

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6 Ways to Peacefully Co-Exist with an Extended Family

          Yes, there are still cases where extended families live together.  An extended family is composed of parents, children, and other relatives living together in one roof or nearby such as in duplexes, compounds, and apartments for example.  There are benefits when you have your relatives living close to you such as pitching in for expenses, baby-sitting, have someone close to you to talk to when you need to open up, and so on and so forth.  But, there are also downsides to it such as petty family quarrels, invasion of privacy, and other ways that will harm smooth relationships among extended family members.  So, how do you deal with it?  Being in a situation like this, here are some good points to remember:

Set the Rules

extended family
You do not need to post the rules.  The rules are evolving and not rigid. You can modify them to adjust to a certain situation.  What you do is to discuss it with your members who is responsible for whom and what, explain how things are around the house, and ask extended members what can she or he do to help maintain peaceful co-existence.

Show by Example

          The fact that you own the house and relatives were just asking favors temporarily by living in with you doesn't mean that you are exempted from following the rules.  You lead the way in executing the rules such as turning off the lights when not in use, proper garbage disposal, and maintaining decorum like not receiving guests beyond ten in the evening. 

Do Not Interfere

          Even if you treat each other like brothers and sisters, as part of the extended family, you should know your place in the house.  Do not attempt to encroach in family matters like how to discipline a child, decorating the house, implementing your own rules without discussing with the owner of the house, and prying into intimate details.  You can only interfere once there is violence involved or relatives have asked your help.  It also helps to assure your relatives that you are always around if they need consolation or a helping hand.

Sit Down and Talk

          From time to time, you need to discuss about almost everything that affects everybody in the house.  This is an opportunity to evaluate and amend some rules and guidelines.  It may be an opportunity too for an intimate discussion to resolve matters that calls for you to interfere. 

Show Respect

          As a rule, the extended member should adjust to the family.  Thus, he or she doesn't have the right to criticize and insist his own opinions and views to other members.  Leave your ideas about religion, politics, and social commentaries to yourself.  Nobody wins in these arguments.

Maintain Your Own Personal Items

          Sometimes, small things like soap, shampoo, and toothpaste can be a source of major quarrel between you and your relatives.  Thus, you have to keep your own toiletries and hygiene products.  Plus, do not borrow clothes from them.  Borrowing clothes is a stress and pressure contributor. Why?  Your relatives cannot say no to you.

          I hope that these ideas will help you achieve peaceful co-existence with extended relatives living in your homes. 

Contributed by:  Alden I. Bula 

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