Spanning the five-weeks from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day, National Family Month focuses on the importance of good family relationships and the systems of healthy communication they can establish. CYS is celebrating this month-long observance with a spotlight on our FARS (Families Able to Resolve Situations) mediation program and the CYS Handling Conflict fact sheet, created especially for families in crisis.
As we all know, young people, in their efforts to establish independence, will occasionally assert their will in reckless ways. Parents, with similarly powerful imperatives to protect their children, and often stretched to their limits, may respond with similarly combative styles.
FARS provides proven techniques for working through opposed positions to find common ground and mutually-supportive solutions. Clients are also encouraged to try all 7 of the suggested techniques in the Handling Conflict fact sheet at home, often agreeing to “homework” assignments that incorporate them.
The benefits of positive communication extend beyond the adolescent years! Studies have shown that, more than anything else, styles of conflict resolution determine the long-term outlook of adult relationships, as well. With community support, CYS’s FARS program is having a profoundly positive impact on families in need.
Mediator Mandy Lande recalls a recent FARS mediation that allowed a teen to hear his mom admit the situation at home was something that tormented her from the moment she woke up, before she poured her coffee, until the moment when everyone was asleep.
Mandy notes, “When we asked the youth if he knew this before his mom had shared, he said, ‘No.’ We knew, from his tone and body language, that this moment could change everything for his family.”