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We all want harmony within our family, but that is not always possible. Sometimes frustration and anger ruins dinners, family get-togethers, field trips, or vacations. Few of us are skilled at reacting to these emotions with complete effectiveness. Frustration and anger can be aroused when we feel what is expected and what is obtained do not match up.

Adults can have childhood memories of growing up in unstable households where there was much hate, bitterness, arguing, and even physical abuse of one another. Parents who do not model loving relationships can do much damage to their child's future relationships.

What can we do to develop better relationships among siblings and parent and child? People should rethink situations they are confronted with before "blowing up." They should learn people skills to manage their anger constructively. Also, they need to understand their own and others' feelings and resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner.

As soon as you become aware of being angry, ask yourself three questions: 1. Is this important to me?
2. When I look at the facts of the situation, is my anger justified?
3. Is there anything I can do to correct the situation?

If the answer to all three is yes, don't explode. Take a few slow, deep breaths before you say your peace. And if you get one or more no's as answers to these three questions, then you need to reason with yourself and distract or stop your train of thought to get over your inappropriate anger.

Recognize when you are feeling angry and why. Is it covering up for another emotion such as fear, shame, stress, or embarrassment? Try to see things in the other person's point of view. Is how you're thinking creating your angry feelings? Perhaps, you feel the other person is accusing you of lying when really he/she is trying to get to the root of the problem with questioning. Check to see if you understand the other person correctly. Express your wish to resolve the problem.

Show concern by listening to what the person has to say. It's okay to express your anger with respect and love. Learn ways to calm yourself when you are angry. Does jogging or listening to music soothe your agitated emotions? Think of ways to solve the problem without bringing up past situations. Ridiculing or teasing the other person will only aggravate the situation, rather than solve any problems.

Remember that your aim is to build harmonious relationships that will bond the members of your family for a lifetime. Whether you are a child in the family or an adult, you may think that it isn't important to have a close bond with a certain sibling, parent, or spouse; but as time passes and you have more time to look back on these conflicts, you will wish you had shown more compassion rather than anger.