Creating peace in your family


Shalom Bayis is a Hebrew folk term that means literally, peace in the home.

In order to get a deeper look at peace in the home, we also need to understand what causes distress in the home. Peace in the home requires a healthy relationship between the couple. It also requires love, respect, and cooperation between the children themselves and their relationship with their parents.

It might be helpful to understand that all couples and families go through challenges and frustrations. Each member of a family has strengths and weaknesses. Life is full of challenges, and these challenges place pressure on all members of a family in their own way.

Peace in every family takes effort

Our family context is the circumstance we find ourselves in. As adults, we have a greater capacity to change and modify our circumstances for the better. If we are not happy, if we are experiencing conflict with our spouse, our children, or even those in the community outside the home we have the ability to take action and create change.

This is less true for children. If a child is struggling with a mental health issue such as anxiety, depression, or difficulty controlling his or her behavior, help will have to come from outside; he or she will need the intervention of an adult.

Family Therapy for children with emotional or behavioral issues

When a child is struggling with an emotional or behavioral disorder, the entire family is affected. Emotional disorders such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or even depression can occur in children as well as adults and adolescents. Behavioral disorders are treated by working with the entire family to understand the dynamics of communication and other aspects that affect a child's behavior. This often benefits the entire family, not just the child.

Often times a family will be at a total loss as to how to help their struggling child. Contrary to what some parents believe, an emotional disorder is not usually just a “phase” that a child will grow out of. Sometimes children need help to learn how to manage what they are experiencing.

For example, a child who regularly experiences intense anxiety or sadness will not know why or how to change in order to be or feel like everyone else. Often the parents and siblings of this child will not understand or know how to help the child. Anxious children often experience greater difficulty attending school; they worry about their family and themselves. They understand that they worry more than other children their age.

In a situation such as this, the child and the entire family will benefit from therapy. Children actively think about and interpret their environment. Therapy can help the child learn coping skills and understand how their thinking affects their emotions. The rest of the family will likely benefit from the same educational approach.

Peace in the home equals happy, healthy children and adults

In order to develop and thrive, both adults and children need to feel safe and secure. To understand this in terms of child development, we know from neuroscience research that if a child is faced with emotional distress, fear, and conflict on an ongoing basis, all his or her energy and resources are used to manage the stress.

When this is happening, the child misses out on important opportunities for cognitive and social learning. They are more concerned with a conflict going on at home than with their school assignments or relationships with their peers.

In order for all members of the family to grow and develop (including the parents) a feeling of security is required. On an unconscious level, we need our family to survive, and our survival needs must be attended to first before we can focus our attention on less important things such as school, social, and career development. We need peace.

Peace outside the home and online

Our lives are no longer contained within the home and places of school and employment. We are now exposed to the vast world of online media. Even organized groups with the best of intentions can become unsafe places where our views or opinions are attacked. We can become victimized by people who wish to harm us without ever coming face to face with them.

How do we protect ourselves from conflict while engaging with the world in a meaningful way? We need to support each other both within and outside of the family unit. Striving for understanding even when our points of views differ can build a stronger healthier community. In this way, we start close to home and then expand outward, all the while keeping in mind our own needs and boundaries, especially when interacting with the online world.

If your family is suffering from a lack of shalom bayis, click here to get help for your family, your relationship, and your teenagers in Brooklyn.

Outside of Brooklyn? Click here to get help for your family from one of our licensed therapists.

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

12 Feb 2019


By Dr David Lefkowitz

Popular Articles - Recommended for You

How to increase psychological flexibility

How to increase psychological flexibility

Changing the way you think using these techniques to increase psychological flexibility can have a significant impact on anxiety, depression, work performance, & overall quality of life. You can learn to stop unhelpful thoughts from holding you back.

November 13, 2017 By Francisca Oredeko

The connection between Asperger's and gluten; Henry's story

The connection between Asperger's and gluten; Henry's story

More and more parents are reporting a connection between Asperger's and gluten. Could a gluten-free or casein-free diet be a solution for your child with autism spectrum disorder?

November 13, 2017 By Wendy Frank

How to stop passive-aggressive behavior

How to stop passive-aggressive behavior

Because passive-aggressive behavior is not overt, it can be hard to recognize and even harder to stop. Below are some tips to stop passive-aggressive behavior.

September 4, 2017

Featured Listings more listings

Eastside Center for Family – Laura Halford

Eastside Center for Family – Laura Halford

in Children and Teenagers, Marriage/Relationship Counseling/Therapy, Substance Abuse

We provide Alcohol & Drug Treatment, Family Based Intervention & Therapy for Individuals, Couples, Families, Children & Adolescents in Bellevue, Washington.

Dr. David Younger

Dr. David Younger

in Chronic Illness, Marriage/Relationship Counseling/Therapy, Depression

I am a licensed psychologist specializing in working with people with chronic health conditions and helping couples with their relationships while raising children.

Maria Lloyd

Maria Lloyd

in Pregnancy, Prenatal, Postpartum, Stress, Depression

I help women struggling with depression, postpartum depression, stress, relationships, self-esteem, and more. Through our sessions, I can help you change negative thought patterns that are preventing you from living a fulfilled and satisfying life.

U Can Achieve

U Can Achieve

in Residential Treatment

If your son has not succeeded in traditional academic environments, we may be the best answer for changing his direction and putting him on the path to a better life. We are here to facilitate your teenager or young adult's successful transition.