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How to Handle Conflicts

Conflicts are a normal part of life, regardless of your child's age. But when you are the parent of young teens, you may find that conflicts occur more often than you expected. Not only can become stressful to listen to your child's conflicts, but it can also be a source of frustration. Being able to address conflicts can make the difference between a headache and pulling your hair out!

Conflict Resolution Skills for Kids

The reasons behind why teens and tweens have conflicts are as diverse as the kids themselves. There are many reasons why conflict happens, and there is no one solution that will fit all occasions. Young teens tend to go through periods of fighting for their independence, which can be become a source of conflict, especially with parents or teachers. Whether your tween is in conflict with you or others, keep these parenting tips in mind:

  • Teach your young teen conflict resolution skills. Conflicts can usually be diffused when good communication skills are used. Teach your child to state her feelings, using "I" statements, rather than pointing the finger at another person.
  • Be a good role model. If your child sees you effectively handling conflicts, she will pick up on those skills.
  • Give her some space to try and work it out on her own (if the conflict is small or if the situation is not dangerous).
  • Listen to her ideas for proposed solutions on how to handle a conflict. If she believes she is being heard and can have some input in the resolution, she will likely feel more comfortable about the outcome.
  • Discuss the importance of being able to forgive and move on following a conflict. Don't let her get hung up on the issues.
  • Try using a behavior chart that rewards her for effectively working through conflicts.

Life is full of conflicts, but teaching your young teen how to work through them by using conflict resolution and good communication gives her a skill that will last a lifetime.