How to deal with conflict better

Calm is essential in managing conflict

Remain calm and approach calmly, remembering that your tone and your behaviour sets the tone. Therefore, be the change you want to see and if you want your child to calm down, then ask yourself, ‘how calm am I?’ Be a good role model, by modelling the behaviour you want to see.

Childrens difficult behaviour

Get down to their eye level, make eye contact and use their name

Understanding the feelings under the behaviour

Acknowledge the feelings: ‘sounds like you are upset with each other, how can you work together to sort it out; I know you can do it’

Be kind, gently but firm in your parenting

Calmly ask for the toy, so you can focus on the situation, and not focus on the toy

Sibling Rivalry: Do not take sides

Stop any hurtful actions, so if two are squabbling – approach and gently take one of their hands each and speak very gently and softly ‘ hey, shhhh take it easy, you were playing together so happily, I love to see you doing that’. In other words Do Not Take Sides. if a toy was the problem, tell them you will give them a  few minutes to see how they can work together to share the toy, or the toy will have to be removed and calmly remove the toy and tell them you will pop on top of the fridge until they decide how they can share it. Give them an egg timer so they can see they need to resolve together before time is up. In other words Push the Responsibility Down to Them to resolve things as you cannot always be there and conflict resolution is a skill they learn.

Helping children get along

Encourage them to  come up with suggestions on how to solve the problem, they will surprise you with innovative suggestions you won’t have thought of. It needs to be a decision that is acceptable to both parties obviously! You may need to make a suggestion, but as far as possible, try to get them to work things out together.

Help them resolve – but do not fix it for them

Stay close by to see if the solution is working and use encouragement and praise.

Positive Reinforcement works

Remember, the more you notice them being good (playing together) by rewarding it with your attention & maybe sitting with them for a few moments, the less they will need to use negative behaviour to get your attention. Therefore, catch them being good is the mantra and you will find that when you do that, that their behaviour improves and they blossom!!