Today's Tip for Families

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Help Your Children Learn to Resolve Conflicts

Your two kids both want to be on the computer right now. You're sick of listening to them argue and you're tempted just to leap in and solve the problem.

Take a deep breath before you do. Then use this as an opportunity to teach your children how to resolve conflicts. Here's how:

  1. Give the situation a name. Use the word conflict. Say, "It sounds as though we have a conflict about who gets to use the computer." Remind your kids that conflict is one way we learn and grow and tell them you are going to work with them to resolve the conflict.
  2. Set some rules. Both kids have to agree to work together to figure out a solution that's fair. (If they resist, tell them that they can work out the problem or they can both do without the computer.) They can't call each other names. They have to tell the truth.
  3. Get the facts. Have the children tell their own side of the story. One may need to practice sight words. The other may need to look up facts for a report that's due tomorrow.
  4. Have the children say what they each need most. Can they figure out a way for both of them to get what they need? Be sure they state clearly what they have agreed on. You could even ask them to write down their agreement.

We can't avoid all conflict. But learning these skills will help your kids resolve them peacefully at home, in school and throughout their lives.

Brought to you by:

West Point Consolidated School District

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