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Teach Your Child How to Resolve Conflicts

Conflicts are a part of our everyday lives, whether with family members who don’t agree with something we are doing or friends who don’t agree with other people we are hanging out with. With every decision we make in life there is a pro and a con to either way we go and there will most likely be someone who doesn’t like that decision. It also tends to be difficult for children when they have little understanding or preparation on how to handle confrontations with schoolmates or siblings.

Conflict resolution can be a very difficult task to undergo with children. Maintaining a healthy conflict resolution environment will be a good first step to teaching children how to resolve their problems properly. When adults have problems or disagreements yet find healthy and fair solutions to resolve the issues, children are taught that although not everyone will agree there is always a way to be fair with resolution.

Preschool
Young children won’t have the same types of conflict that older children will, yet that does not mean their issue is not important to them. Whether their issue is about whose turn it is to pick a game or if they don’t want to eat their carrots these feel real to young children. When an issue that is important to your child comes up talk to them about being fair and making everyone happy, “okay so you don’t want to eat your carrots and I know they are healthy for you, therefore if you take at least two bites I won’t make you eat them all.”

Not everyone is always right, even parents can be wrong. This message will help children understand that it’s okay to make a mistake and the conflicts that we encounter can be taken care of without a fight. “I realize I told you that it was your turn to pick the game this week, but remember you picked yatzee last week? I was wrong and I am sorry, let’s have fun playing the game your brother picked and you’ll get to pick next week.”

Main points to address:

  • Teach them to treat others the way they want to be treated.
  • Explain we’re not always right.

Grades K-3rd
Explain to your children that we don’t always have to agree with what our friends or our parents say or do, but we can come to an agreement and find a resolution without getting into confrontations about the issue.

Talk to them about finding solutions to something they don’t agree with, “when you don’t agree with something that’s okay too. If your friends are doing something that you don’t agree with it’s best to inform them rather than feel uncomfortable about doing something. ETalk to your children about talking to someone they trust about these types of issues. A friend they are close with, encourage them to talk to you, or another adult they trust to gain insight and advice on handling these situations, as they are all different.

There are options that everyone has with regard to finding a solution to a problem with others who are doing things we don’t agree with. Without talking this through this can turn into frustration, which leads to agitation, which will eventually lead to a fight or confrontation.

Main points to address:

  • It’s okay to not agree with something, but teach them how to find a solution without fighting about it.
  • You don’t have to do something that you don’t agree with.

Grades 4th-6th
Sometimes we are wrong, and that’s hard to admit especially for children. When we admit that we are wrong about something and apologize for that we are resolving things that can ultimately lead to serious conflict. It’s okay to make mistakes, we all do, but it is admirable to admit when we are wrong and find a way to change that, apologize for it, and find a solution to make it better.

Talking things over is a very responsible step to take for conflict resolution. When your child talks to you about something or you hear about your child talking about a problem or fight they have resolved let them know how responsible that was and how proud you are of them for taking those steps. Fully expressing our fears, disagreements, or other emotions that are hurtful or vital will drastically improve the situation and that person’s feelings. It’s best to get it out than keep it in and let it boil, it will explode sooner or later.

Main points to address:

  • Teach them how to apologize and admit when they are wrong.
  • Teach your children to express themselves.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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