Teaching Healthy Conflict Resolution Skills
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Conflicts are part of life. Teaching healthy conflict resolution skills is an important part of raising healthy, well-adjusted kids.
 
Life means having conflicts.
 
Resolving conflicts in healthy ways is an essential skill that we can teach our kids when we model:
 
   Good listening skills
   Appropriate compromise
   Limits
   Humility
 
Help kids learn conflict resolution by having them practice with you.
 
Tell your kids that if they ever think you have done something that they think is unfair, then they can tell you by whispering, “I’m not sure that’s fair.”
 
If they tell you that they think you have done something unfair, then tell them, “We can make an appointment, and I will listen and consider your case as long as your voice remains calm and respectful. What you say may or may not change what I decide to do.”
 
When doing this, you retain the right to:
 
   Schedule the discussion for any time that is most convenient for you.
   Respectfully disagree with the child or simply say “no.”
   Provide some caring opportunities for the child to see that life isn’t always “fair.”
   End the conversation if you feel that you are being manipulated, the child is playing verbal “brain drain,” or anger creeps in.
   Compromise with the child when it makes sense to do so.
 
Let them overhear adults resolving conflicts.
 
When we try too hard to avoid having conflicts in front of our kids, they don’t have an opportunity to see how adults resolve them in effective ways.
 
The end goal is to create an environment where respectful discourse and productive conflict resolution is taught… a place where kids learn that solving problems with respectful words is far more productive than manipulating or resorting to violence.
 
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Dr. Charles Fay

 
 


 
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