Anytime there are two or more people interacting with one another, there is bound to be conflict at some point. This is certainly true with children and especially between brothers and sisters. While it may take years to perfect this, it would be wonderful if we could instruct our children on the right way to resolve conflict with another person. There will certainly be plenty of opportunities to practice this skill!
This Mannerly Monday, I thought I’d share some ideas along those lines.
- As much as possible, handle conflicts in private and only with the person/people involved. If you need help solving a problem or sense an unsafe situation, seek out a parent or other adult for help. However, if your only reason for involving an adult is to get the other person in trouble, that is tattle telling.
- Deal with the current issue without bringing up past problems. Try to understand each other by taking turns talking and not interrupting one another.
- Lower, don’t raise your voice. Be willing to communicate, not withdraw in silence. Express your own feelings without attacking someone else.
- Listen carefully to the other person’s perspective. He may have a valid reason for his anger, even if the offense was not intentional on your part. Discuss how the situation could have been handled differently. Always be willing to apologize sincerely if you did wrong and fully forgive if you were wronged.
- Make sure the relationship is restored and the problem has been reconciled. Be willing to shake hands or give a hug and communicate words of encouragement and appreciation for working through the difficulty.
Teaching our children how to properly resolve conflict at an early age can help them develop great interpersonal skills that they will use time and again throughout their lives. Let us know if you have suggestions to share about helping your children work through disagreements with others.