Conflict resolution for kids and why it’s crucial we teach it now.
You can breathe a big sigh of relief.
Unlike most things these days, this is actually not about politics. There will be no passive-aggressive displays of opinions or judgmental banter.
It is simply about conflict resolution, and what I want my kids to learn about it.
There will always be conflict in life. It’s not a bad thing; it’s simply human nature to not agree with everyone. It is what makes us different and adds color to our lives.
In a perfect world, our differences should be celebrated; however, the recent years have been the opposite of what I would call a “celebration of differences”.
If this recent election and political environment taught me anything, it taught me how I do not want my own children to act when faced with a argument.
Teaching Kids About Conflict
Even at a very young age, kids start to learn about conflict. From their first fight over sharing toys, to arguments at the playground- they are already learning how to work through arguments.
Still, when I mindlessly scroll through social media at the end of the day, I am reminded that there are many folks out there who were never taught these basic conflict resolution skills.
These 5 lessons, along with the free downloadable workbook at the end of this article, will guide you as you teach your kid important lessons about conflict.
1) It is Okay to Disagree
In a conversation, every person brings a unique set of experiences, biases, and reasons for feeling a certain way.
Just because you don’t agree on a topic, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends.
Explain this to your child using a simple topic, such as ice cream flavors. Their favorite flavor might be chocolate, and their friend might love vanilla. It doesn’t mean that one flavor is better than the other- they are just different.
And that is okay!
You may also like: How to peacefully parent an argumentative kid
2) Take the Time to Listen
When are you are in a conflict with someone, it is crucial that you must make time to listen to the other side.
Be respectful and do not interrupt when they are speaking, even if you disagree.
If your friend is explaining why they think vanilla is the best ice cream choice, listen quietly and do not cut in.
3) Diversity is a Good Thing
If everyone liked the same ice cream flavor, Ice Cream stores would be a pretty boring place.
It is important to teach your children that they can’t change everyone’s mind. Opinion diversity is normal and healthy.
Use these tips to be respectful of other people’s feelings:
4) There are Appropriate Times for Arguments
There is a time to argue, and a time to hold in your own opinion.
If the discussion is making people feel quite uncomfortable, it may not be the best time to debate. At these times, you may have to keep your opinion to yourself.
For example, if you are voicing your hatred of vanilla ice cream in front of the ice cream store owner, you may be doing more harm than good.
Related: How to STOP being a People-Pleaser
5) You Don’t Have to Always have the Last Word
There will be times when the person you are speaking to will not listen to what you have to say.
If it doesn’t seem like a resolution can be met, it is okay to politely leave and let the other person have the last comment.
Your stubborn friend may never agree to try different ice creams, and that is their loss.
Conflict Resolution for Kids
Print this reminder for your children:
Also, download the free E-workbook below to help teach your kids these valuable lessons. The book includes reflection activities, exercises, and free printable reminders.
Final Thoughts on Conflict Resolution for Kids
If your child learns these skills at a young age, when debating things like favorite ice cream flavor, it will help them have professional and productive debates as they grow into adulthood.
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