One of the most important parts of this lesson is to handle yourself when you get into any kind of argument with your kid. So, the simple goal is to resolve conflict with your kid in a constructive way. Most of our lives are spent on resolving conflicts or avoiding them whenever and however possible. It’s the same with children. The difference is that kids will not learn to argue or handle conflict too well, unless you show them how. It’s easier to avoid conflict than take part in it, but it’s not too healthy to avoid conflict completely, as it is a natural part of human communication. If you help your kids manage their conflict situations, they will be able to establish more gratifying friendships and better social experiences.
Resolve Conflict With Your Kid A Few Simple Steps
Let’s start with a few fast hints, as you work to resolve conflict with your kid:
- Find a solution together – Younger kids need to have simple and limited options here, whereas, older children need to know that everyone has the right to speak their mind.
- Everything is solved with talking and listen – It’s self-explanatory really. Kids should know this straight away. Every problem is solved by talking about it, and hearing what the other person has to say.
- Encourage fairness – Be fair, and do the right thing, share with others, “take turns,” and so on, are aspects that should be encouraged with kids at a very early age. The sooner you start the better.
- Role play the solution – Kids can learn fast, but only if you provide them with an example. So, each time you want to find a potential solution together use role play to create potential scenarios in the playground. This will make the kid feel more confident when they actually find themselves in a difficult conflict situation where an instant solution is needed.
- Teach them to use imagination – Imaginative play gives kids a sense of power – they sense that they are in control, and capable of solving things on their own. This makes very good practice for any potential problem solving.
- Knowing when enough is enough – This is also a very valuable lesson – teach the toddler (and older kids, of course) to simply back away and let things be, if the problem appears to be way too challenging for them. In such situations it is okay to seek help from adults.
Kids Need the ‘Tools’ to Solve and Fix Things
Just like everyone else, when trying to resolve conflict kids are going to handle themselves according to the “tools” they have, based on previous experiences. Of course, how they resolve conflict also relates to their age, or rather stage of development. When a young child gets into a conflict situation they may not know how to compromise without help. Also, they most likely won’t have the emotional capacity to understand the needs of others. That’s where good parenting comes in. Kids will learn various strategies from their mom and dad, thus they will be able to resolve conflicts more effectively.
Watch Those Mom and Dad Conflicts
Most parents feel that they should avoid arguing in front of their children. That’s totally cool. However, you should not hide mom and dad arguments completely. After all, arguing and conflict is a huge part of every-day life. So, it makes no sense to shield them from that entirely. Here’s the catch though – if you argue in front of the kids, make sure those mom and dad conflicts and disagreements are resolved in a constructive way.
“Children are very good at picking up on little nuances of how parents interact with each other, so it really matters how parents express and manage their daily life challenges because that determines children’s confidence in the stability and safety of their family,” says University of Arizona researcher Olena Kopystynska. “If parents are hostile toward each other, even children as young as 3 years old may be threatened that their family may be headed toward dissolution. They may not necessarily be able to express their insecurities verbally, but they can feel it.”
More Cool Suggestions and Ways to Resolve Conflict With Your Kid
Here are some basics you should be aware of as a parent for any conflict situations your kids may have: