International Day Of Peace: Help Kids resolve conflict
Today is International Day of Peace and here at Banjo HQ, we’ve been chatting about how we talk to our little ones about resolving conflicts. In this blog we’ve got some tips to help you support your child (at any age!) to become better at managing and resolving conflicts with others:
Teach them strategies to calm down
When emotions are still intense, it’s not the right time to problem-solve about the conflict itself. Teaching them deep breathing, relaxation, exercise, writing, drawing, painting or other expressive activities can really help them to bring down the intensity of their feelings. Here is a list of helpful exercises to try with your little one.
Work out how they feel
Talk it over to help them identify and process their feelings. Using “I” statements to express feelings – “I feel ____ when ______”
Be a positive role model
Kids learn about resolving conflict by observing others. One of the most powerful things you can do to help your child learn conflict resolution is to show them how it’s done! When you experience a conflict of your own (especially one with your child!), put the techniques described here into practice. Seeing you succeed (and also fail!) shows kids that solving conflicts really is doable, even when it’s hard!
Create a safe environment
Making sure they know that they are in a loving environment and that they can express themselves openly and honestly without fear of a negative or emotional reaction! Make sure they are able to do this with the person with whom they’re having the conflict.
Help them manage their feelings
Help your child find ways to manage their feelings in the moment such as counting to 10 or walking away. Conflicts often feel enormous and immediate, (which can make it hard to keep perspective on the situation!)
Help them to figure out what the other child wants and how they might be feeling. Repeat back what the other person has said, keep eye contact, no interrupting and making sure there is no name calling, hurtful words or acting on emotions. Check out some emotion coaching techniques here too!
And the most important one:
It is really hard to fight in the face of kindness. We want our little ones to be able to manage their emotions and know that conflict is completely normal, it’s how they handle this with kindness that helps manage the situation. Understanding if the other person is going through something at home, for example, will really help to add to the kindness that is already blossoming in them!
Banjo has also written his own blog for your little ones about dealing with conflict between siblings. Remember that conflict is completely normal, but working on strategies for peaceful resolutions is totally worth it!
Lots of love, Banjo HQ x