Dealing with Differences| Outside of school care software
Dealing with Differences
Conflict resolution tips to help kids get along better and build healthy relationship habits for life.
1. Calm Down
The first rule of conflict is...calm down. Nobody can communicate clearly or listen well when emotions are high, so teach kids to self-identify when they are in a conflict situation and need some space to collect themselves. Create shared responsibility by brainstorming together how it feels to be upset, and making a chart of the signs (e.g. tummy feels tight, want to hide, crying, urge to hit something), encouraging peers to offer help when they see these signs too. Identify a "chill out" space where children can calm down in their own way, alone or with a friend.
Encourage each child to share their point of view and feelings while the other listens. Have a few rules, such as looking at each other, taking turns to speak, no interrupting, no put downs and quiet voices. Try to focus on feelings and "I statements" such as "I feel sad when I'm not allowed to play with you". The listener should repeat back what they heard and try to see things from that perspective.
Learning to apologise well is an important life skill, and the rules are the same whether you are eight or eighty:
• Use the words, ͞I’m sorry
• Acknowledge exactly how you messed up.
• Tell the person how you’ll fix the situation.
• Promise to behave better next time.
• Ask for forgiveness:
There are three kinds of possible outcomes to a conflict: both people are happy, one person is happy, or no one is happy. Teach kids to work together to find the win-win, where both parties get something they wanted, even if its not their ideal. Support this by not stepping in to manage the situation externally (e.g. by acting as judge, or taking away an item being fought over so that "no one gets it".
The very best way to teach kids to manage themselves well in conflict is to lead by example. Set clear expectations for behaviours in conflict, have a process to work through like the one above, and role model it whenever you find yourself in a tough situation with a child or another adult on your programme.
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