For children, it can be difficult to resolve problems on their own. Often, they’re facing these problems for the first time which can be distressing. As parents we want our children to grow into resilient, loving people.
Conflicts can arise anywhere – from the classroom to the canteen or even the playground. There’s going to be struggles and conflict in life and that’s inevitable.
But what matters most – is how we respond to conflict.
If your children can learn how to respond well to conflict, they will become more resilient and confident when facing trials later in life.
Here are 4 effective skills to teach them when responding to conflict.
1. The secret to friendship
“The secret to friendship is being a good listener” – Anonymous
When there’s a problem between your children and their friends, teach them the importance of listening to their friends thoughts and feelings. In a world full of noise, help them harness the power of listening. This can be hard to learn because even as adults we find it hard to truly listen. If your children listen to their friends, it shows that they care and love them – even in the midst of conflict.
2. Managing strong emotions
Whenever your children are faced with conflict, they may feel anger and frustration. It’s important to teach them what not to do – yell, physically hurt or intimidate someone. Teach them several strategies to keep calm and relaxed before responding:
- Take 3 deep breaths
- Count to 10
- Pray for God’s guidance
These strategies will give them time to articulate their thoughts, so when they respond they’re able to communicate in a more peaceful manner.
3. Encouraging fairness
There are many benefits that come with being kind and fair to your peers. Chat to your children about the advantages of being fair. If you see your children choosing to do the right thing – be lavish in your encouragement.
4. Problem-solving together
When nothing else works, teach them to feel safe to come to you for advice. You can offer your children suggestions to help settle the issue. Sit down with them, brainstorm some ideas and coach them through it with grace and patience. After a couple of days, check on them and see if they were able to resolve the issue.
Conflict is unavoidable but teaching children how to manage it early on is important. By doing so, children will learn to approach future problems with maturity, awareness and patience.
For more helpful resources from NT Christian Schools, like us on Facebook.