Children naturally engage in conflicts. As a
parent with more than one child, or a professional who works with
children, it can be difficult to know what to do when children are
fighting over a toy or squabbling about who gets to go out the door
But there are some simple steps that actually teach children how to
handle conflicts appropriately, that may even result in less tears.
STEP 1 - Acknowledge feelings
When children are fighting over something, there are often a lot of
emotions involved. When children are upset, first acknowledge this fact
by saying, “I see that you are both very angry about this.” As with
adults, most often children want their feelings to be validated.
If we begin by saying, “Stop crying” or “Be quiet,” we will only make
the situation worse by angering the children further. Validating
children’s feelings on the other hand, can serve to help children begin
to calm down because they will know they are understood.
STEP 2 - Describe the problem
Once children have calmed down from their initial anger over the
situation, you can ask them to explain their problem. Keep in mind that
children will not be able to tell you what is wrong until they are no
longer sobbing or yelling.
When a child or person of any age for that matter is angry, it is
hard to think straight, so be sure to wait an appropriate amount of time
for the children to calm down before moving on to this step. After the
children have explained the problem, restate it in your words.”So the
problem is you both want to play with the red truck?” Then ask both
children to confirm that this is indeed the problem.
STEP 3 - Suggest and ask for solutions
Depending on the children’s age (younger children may need more adult
help than older children) either begin by asking, “What should we do
about this?” You could also suggest an idea. Older children will begin
to offer up solutions.
For example, one child says, “How about if I play with the red truck
and he plays with the blue one?” Then you would ask the other child,
“Would that be OK with you?” Keep in mind that both children need to
agree on the solution. If they do not agree on the solution given, keep
asking them to think of ways for both children to be happy. If they are
younger and not ready to offer their own ideas, you may suggest some
until they both agree.
STEP 4 - Restate the solution
Now the adult can say, “So our solution to this problem is…” Then
acknowledge the children’s agreement by saying, “You solved the
STEP 5 - Follow up
Be prepared to follow up with the children about 10 minutes after the
solution has been reached. If children begin to have problems again,
revisit the conflict solving process. If all seems well, check with them
by saying, “How is the solution you thought of working out?“
Thanks to: http://extraterrestrials.ning.com