It’s natural for human beings to get into disagreements from time to time, and kids are no exception. Having disagreements is human nature. It’s the adult’s responsibility to teach kids how to handle conflict. Learning how to understand each other’s differences is an important lesson in life.
How to teach conflict resolution for kids?
Human beings are social creatures that need each other to function. Children need one another and need to learn how to get along. When conflicts arise, how do you teach conflict resolution? Here are five steps to teach conflict resolution to your children.
Let the kids calm down
Break up the fight and ask them to cool off from each other. Let the children take a break for a few minutes to calm down. Ask them how they can calm down. There are several things they could do, like counting from 1 to 10 (or 20), walking away, or even writing down their feelings.
Without letting the kids calm down and letting them stay upset, any discussion to resolve the issue will not end well. That is why the first step to solve a conflict is to let both parties calm down.
Let both parties state the problem
Once both have calmed down, it’s time to talk to each one on how the conflict began. Tell the kids that honesty is very important and admitting to their mistakes is a courageous thing to do. Encourage them to express their feelings, and ask them how the other kid made them feel. Let the kids listen to the other when they are talking. If they become emotional, let them cry it out and comfort them.
Let their apologies be sincere
A sincere apology has three ingredients – the feeling of regret, responsibility, and the intention to make things right. Saying sorry is the first step but doesn’t stop there. Saying sorry will seem hard at first but is a big step for kids to improve their relationship with other people.
Encourage your child to put their apologies down on paper. Let them write their feelings down and acknowledge any mistakes they made. Let your child write down that they promise to behave better next time and, most importantly, ask sincerely for forgiveness.
Don’t let them make excuses or blame the victim. Being compassionate, having integrity, and being honest are important and should be taught to kids firsthand.
Brainstorm for solutions
When apologies have been made and both parties have accepted them, it’s time to think of solutions. Encourage the children to come up with solutions to their problem.
As an adult, you might be tempted to step in and provide a solution for your children. However, letting children come up with their own solution and agreeing upon it will be much more effective.
Follow up on the children after the fight
After the resolution, check on the kids and see if the resolution worked. See if the children are getting along and if the solution they came up with has worked. Observe how both act with each other.
If, in the event that they still cannot get along well, it may be time to find another playmate for both. Some kids need more time to settle their differences, so give them time away from each other.
Kids fight because of their differences and this is normal. Teaching our children how to resolve conflicts is one of the parents’ responsibilities. If your children are fighting and you have no idea how to come between them, hopefully this article will give you ways to teach your kids the steps for conflict resolution.