Conflict Resolution

Good morning! Good afternoon! Good evening! or maybe even good night! Whatever time it is where you are, it’s great to have you here 🙂

Today’s post will be quick but ever so important. We ALL deal with conflict. We may run the other way, thrive on it, deal with it only when absolutely necessary, or maybe there’s a few of us who see it as a valuable part of life. Conflict, although difficult, can be an opportunity for learning. We may learn something about the other person, we may “mend fences” and end up with a stronger relationship, we may learn a better way of doing things, we may see one of our own weaknesses (yikes!), or a thousand different things. Sometimes we do need to walk away from conflict, but we probably walk (or run) way more often than we should. Relationships are valuable. Don’t let unresolved conflict ruin them.

1996 Emily crying

When our kids (children or students) are involved in conflict, the easy path is to break it up and punish them. But, that only means we will have to break it up again and again and again. How do we help our kids learn to deal with conflict?

It’s important to talk about conflict outside of those times when conflict occurs. Talk to your kids about what types of conflicts they experience or see other kids experiencing. Talk about possible options for resolving those situations. Role-play and act out alternatives.

Even when we talk with kids about conflict, when they are in the heat of the moment, they may have difficulty remembering what they have learned. Here are three simple steps you can use to help them work through the conflict and to learn from it. 

1. Help the kids involved to “understand each other’s point of view (‘How does so-and-so feel when you do that?’).”

2. Help the kids involved “work out a fair solution, one that takes into account both points of view and satisfies the legitimate claims of each party (‘What’s a way of solving the problem that’s fair to both of you?’).”

3. Help the kids involved “practice the behavioral skills that will help them solve problems without the intervention of an adult (‘Can you show me how you could have solved this problem without fighting?’).”

Quotes are from: Lickona, T. (1991). Educating for character, how our schools can teach respect and responsibility. p.294-5. New York, NY: Bantam Dell Pub Group.

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5 Responses to Conflict Resolution

  1. Adelien says:

    There should be another side for conflicts. Not only with kids it can be implemented, but also with adults. Thanks for sharing. I love it and pin it.


  2. Sara R says:

    I think this is a wonderful point and I just wanted to add a couple thoughts. When you children are young you want to watch out for the things that trigger them to a cranky response. Then as the children get older they should be taught to recognize the situations that would trigger them to be more irritable, such as being hungry or tired. It is difficult to recognize these triggers as an adult if you never paid attention to them before. I am struggling to teach my children these things as I am learning them myself. It is possible to do both but so much easier to teach if you already have mastered the skill.


  3. Pingback: 100 Resources for Character Education - Blessed Learners - Our Journey of Learning

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