Tweens & Teens
Bullies & Cyber Bullying
Behavior Problems
Classroom-Student Behavior
Extracurricular Activities
Internet & Technology
Kids Health & Safety
Parenting Styles & Skills
Peer Pressure
Positive Discipline
Sibling Rivalry
Sleepovers & Bedtime

Helping Kids Learn to Resolve Conflict

Learning to resolve conflict is a skill that can last a lifetime! While it is important that children learn how to resolve conflict, it is not always a goal that is met. Many parents, not knowing how to teach conflict resolution to their child, simply leave the issue alone and hope it all works out in the end. There are even many adults who have not yet learned adequate conflict resolution skills themselves.

Conflict Resolution: A Sensible Skill

When a child knows how to resolve conflicts, she will feel more confident and may be better able to avoid situations that can get out of hand. We can't always avoid conflict, but there are steps we can take to help resolve it. Because kids, especially siblings, tend to spend so much time arguing, the teen and tween age is a perfect time to learn and hone conflict resolution skills

Here are some parenting tips for helping kids learn to resolve conflict:

  • Use positive reinforcements and rewards to help kids work out their conflicts in a good way. The more you give them positive praise, the more they will want to continue their good behavior.
  • Focus on helping your child have a healthy self esteem. A child who feels good about herself will likely feel more confident and able to work through conflicts.
  • Try role playing with your child, so she can see how conflict resolution looks in action. She will learn what to say and do in particular situations, especially if there are some with which she seems to have a repetitive problem.
  • Use behavior reflection sheets so that your child can work through issues with her behavior. It will give her a chance to analyze her role in a conflict and determine what she can do better the next time.
  • Teach her to use "I" statements in conflicts, so that her words don't put the other person on the defensive. For example, she might want to try saying things like "I feel that…" rather than "you make me…"
  • Help your child identify ways that she can cool off, relax, and de-stress. This may be through journaling or exercise. As long as it is a healthy outlet, it can help her resolve conflict and ease stress.
  • Teach your child to apologize when she is wrong, to accept an apology from others, and move on.

Good conflict resolution is a skill that can last a lifetime. The best way to teach kids how to resolve conflict is to let them see you doing it the right way. Once they see you resolving conflict, they will most likely go on to do the same, in time. Be consistent, and you will successfully teach your child conflict resolution!