Teaching our children how to effectively solve conflicts is an important skill that can last a lifetime. Children engage in conflict for many reasons. For example, conflict may occur when children disagree about who won a race or when other children won’t share their toys. When children cannot solve conflicts, their behaviour can escalate into physical or verbal aggression or cause serious emotional problems, like intense anger or anxiety. Parents play an important role in teaching and modelling appropriate conflict-resolution skills.
So how can parents encourage conflict resolution skills in their child?
Blossom in partnership with the Family Matters@School service provider I_Nurture Training & Consultancy, invited Mr Patrick Puah to share his insights on this topic with our parents on 26 Jul 2014 (Saturday). Mr Puah is a professional trainer, counsellor and facilitator who helps to bond families and people together through workshops and team building sessions
During the session, Mr Puah shared with our participating parents the different types of conflicts and the ways to deal with them. Some examples given were :
- Neutralize the incident to prevent further escalation or injury. Separate the children and if necessary remove the object of the conflict. Preschool and kindergarten-age children still think of themselves first and lack control over their emotions.
- Recognise and acknowledge the feelings and viewpoints of each child in the conflict. Tell them you are going to help them learn how to solve conflicts on their own.
- Explain to your child how to use words, instead of physical actions, to solve conflicts.
- Discuss the importance of sharing, taking turns, asking for things nicely, playing fair and apologising when your child does something wrong.
We learnt that by implementing these basic rules we can help our children avoid conflicts and repair relationships and more importantly that teaching conflict-resolution is a process requiring patience and time!