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Resolving disputes: 6 skills for children

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Conflicts among children are commonplace. But parents don't have to intervene to resolve the dispute: it is better if children develop these six skills.

There are many reasons for a dispute. This is nerve-wracking for parents - regardless of whether the conflict is between siblings, with the child next door or actually with the best friend. But mom and dad can teach their children skills at an early age on how to settle disputes and resolve conflicts themselves. After all, every child is a social being!

With the right tools, however, a dispute can be resolved just as quickly as it arose - if children have developed the appropriate skills. And they can be learned. The clinical psychologist and systemic family therapist Sigrun Eder has developed a series of children's books in which the protagonist Konrad gives readers young and old tips on how to smooth things over and resolve arguments without violence. These 6 tips are all about:

Resolve disputes: 6 skills that children use to resolve conflicts

1. Learn to perceive your own feelings

Feelings help describe experiences, reactions and needs. They control behavior and enable us to build and maintain relationships. Good feelings are positive: they add variety to life. Uncomfortable feelings are like a watchdog: they show that something is wrong. Therefore, support your children in classifying their feelings and learning to name them.

2. Have yourself under control

Having yourself under control means being able to control yourself even in challenging situations. If the behavior of others is perceived as disturbing and distracting, many children feel tense. This can lead to physical violence that injures other people or destroys objects. Children can learn to be in control. Find out what situations pressurize, provoke, or stress your children and help them develop nonviolent responses.

3. Know your body language

A cat hunched over to show that it doesn't like something. A dog's tail wagging means that it is happy. People also use their body language to signal - mostly unconsciously - what is going on in them. Children who are proficient in human body language have a useful skill. Because the body expression makes unspoken feelings, intentions and thoughts of the other more visible and allows conflicts to be defused at an early stage.

4. Remain calm despite criticism and insults

Receiving criticism is just as difficult as being calm when dealing with insults. Criticism is hard to digest food, but it can also be well-founded and hit the mark. Insults, on the other hand, are a nasty means of exacerbating conflicts. Responding to criticism or insults with counter-criticism exacerbates the conflict. How your child can defuse the situation: Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale the mouth, listen to criticism in peace, see what feelings develop and choose the answer wisely, eg: "It annoys me when you insult me." I don't like that you call me that. ”“ What you say makes me sad. ”“ Why are you talking to me like that? ”

5. "I-messages" are better than "you-messages"

The phrase “You are a coward!” Is a “You message”. “You messages” prevent a conflict from being resolved because they accuse, evaluate and corner the other person without revealing anything about yourself. In contrast to this, “I-messages” make it possible to approach one another and to make peace. Because they help to convey mood, feelings and thoughts and at the same time signal the willingness to end the conflict.

6. Be ready for reconciliation

A willingness to reconcile is the basic prerequisite for resolving conflicts and making peace. Those who are willing to make reconciliation approach the other person, respect them and seriously try to find a good solution for both sides. Children who are willing to make reconciliation are peacemakers because they want to clarify the matter, are patient, can make good decisions and, despite strong feelings, intend to resolve the conflict for the better. It is especially nice when at the end of the conversation the conflicting parties hug, shake hands or give each other a handshake or give each other a loving cuddle as a sign of reconciliation.

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