It’s normal for children to fight with each other; it’s human nature. Even adults have disagreements once in a while. Learning how to handle conflicts and differences is important. We are social creatures, and in order to survive, we need each other. So, we need to learn how to get along despite our differences and disagreements. Learning how to resolve conflicts is a social skill that children need to learn to thrive in life and in relationships. How do you teach children to resolve conflicts? Here are five steps to teach conflict resolution for kids.
Let the children calm down
Give the children a second to take a breath and calm down. Ask them to step away from each other and to collect their thoughts. If the children are upset and crying, calm them down and let them drink a glass of water.
Understand where the conflict began
Once the children are calm and ready to talk, ask them how the fight began. You can either ask them separately or together, depending on the situation. Ask them in a neutral tone and tell them that being honest is important. Encourage them to express how they felt before and after the conflict happened. Listen to everything that they have to say. Help them out as they learn how to understand how to solve problems. This is a major goal when you teach your children how to resolve conflicts.
Say Sincere apologies
There are three vital things you see in a sincere apology: regret, responsibility, and remedy. Saying “I’m sorry,” for the mistake you committed will seem difficult, but this is the first step your child must take to improve their relationships with other people. Encourage the children to write a good apology, and then they can give it to each other after writing. If this is the first time they’re writing an apology letter, teach them the basic elements of what must go into the letter. Here are the basic points:
- Use the words “I’m sorry.”
- Write about how you messed up.
- Tell the person you’re conflicted about how you will fix the situation.
- Ask for the other person’s forgiveness.
- Then, promise to be better the next time.
Don’t point fingers, or make excuses or even victim-blame. This will just make the conflict worse. Teach children the importance of integrity, compassion, and honesty when dealing with conflicts.
Teach children how to find a solution
After the children in the conflict have said their apologies to each other, gather them up and encourage them to think of a solution to solve their problem. As an adult, it might be tempting to just give them the solution immediately, but children need to learn how to find a solution on their own. Tell the children to listen to each other as one speaks and encourage them to speak to one another kindly. This is a great step in conflict resolution for kids.
Do a Follow Up
After a while, see how the children are getting along with each other. Observe them and see if the solution they have come up with is working. If they still can’t get along with each other, it might be best to find them someone else to hang out and play with. Some children will need a longer time away from each other to settle their differences. Give them time, and soon enough they will be interacting with each other and be friends again.
Children can learn to solve problems if you just teach them how. Solving a conflict is a social skill and it involves personal experiences. So teaching our children how to handle conflicts should also come with good examples. This can be learned both at home and in school. Pick a good school with a good toddler program to be sure that your little children are taught these traits. Visit Montessori School of Downtown today.