No matter how much we try to avoid them, conflicts are inevitable. In fact, even young kids have to deal with conflicts at some point. As parents, it is our role to help our kids manage conflicts effectively. It will help them experience fulfilling and healthy friendships. It will also enhance their social skills so they enjoy better social experiences. Turn conflicts into learning opportunities. Learn how to establish stronger relationships with these conflict resolution tips for kids.
Allow time to calm down
Before even trying to address conflicts, it is best to allow the kids involved to take a breather from each other. Children are not yet very capable of managing strong emotions like anger. It won’t help to let them face each other while they are still emotional. Give them time to calm down and try some strategies like taking a deep breath or counting from one to 100. The important thing not to force a conversation while the kids are still upset. You may also ask them what would help them calm down and feel better before talking.
Listen and understand the problem
After the kids have calmed down, you may talk to both of them or talk separately. Weigh the circumstances and decide whether or not it would be a good idea to have them explain the problem together. During the talk, emphasize the importance of being honest. Also, encourage them to admit their role in the conflict instead of blaming others. Ask them how they feel and be careful not to judge. Make them feel that you are trying to understand. That the focus is to resolve the conflict instead of attacking their behavior. Be a good listener as the kids explain their part. Make sure to be fair in your judgment.
Problem solve together
Resolving conflicts is much easier when you allow the kids to suggest solutions. Try to find a solution together instead of forcing what you think is best. Encourage them to brainstorm. Think about the steps they can take to iron out things.. Remind them that the goal is to end the conflict with a solution that makes everyone happy. The fix does not have to be complicated. Keep the options limited and simple. Also, tell them that there is no such thing as a silly idea.ll their suggestions are encouraged and appreciated.
Teach how to apologize
Apologizing is not that easy, but it is something that kids need to learn at a young age. By knowing how to say “I’m sorry”, it becomes easier to repair relationships with others. Let them understand why they need to do it and why it is important. Then, encourage them to come up with a good apology. They can write it down or say it in person. Whatever is more comfortable for them to do. In their apology, teach them to use the words “I’m sorry”. It should also include the acknowledgment of how they contributed to the conflict and how they will help fix the situation. Lastly, they should ask for the forgiveness of the other child involved.
It’s important to stress that in apologizing, there is no need to justify their behavior, make excuses or blame the other person. They must be sincere in saying sorry and asking for forgiveness.
After resolving the conflict, it’s a good idea to follow up with the kids and see how they are getting along. Try to see if the solution they came up with is working. You may also want to host play dates to help strengthen the bond again. Also, invite other kids so they will get used to getting along with others in a larger group setting.
We all need to learn how to better resolve conflicts. Even children need to learn it, too. Follow these conflict resolution strategies for kids. Help them enjoy better social experiences and friendships. Enrolling your little one in a preschool is also a good idea to enhance their social skills. And if you’re looking for a toddler program focusing on the holistic development of a child, please visit Handprints Academy.
Be sure to share this great infographic on conflict resolution for kids.