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Conflict is a natural part of human life. Often parents and teachers will try to arrange a child’s life to avoid potential conflict. For example, sometimes we only let certain children play together or we try to keep siblings apart, playing in different parts of the house. While this may feel like the right thing to do, it is really a disservice to our children. Children need to learn how to deal with conflict respectfully and how to negotiate fairly and they need the time and opportunity to practice these skills.
Children look to adults as their models for how to deal with anger and frustration. If we yell, punish, or humiliate others we send a message to children that these are acceptable ways to treat others. We cannot expect children to be respectful and kind if we are not. We cannot expect children to listen to each other and to work things out calmly if we do not. Children need guidance in the difficult process of conflict resolution. You can be their mentor and guide if you remember:
When children get angry with each other and get into a conflict, here are some simple ways to help them work through it:s
Conflict isn’t easy and it can be scary. As parents, we can give a great gift to the world by helping our children learn how to deal with conflict honestly and respectfully.