Chaplain Chat – Dealing With Conflict

Hi Everyone,

This week the school held the Book Fair! I had a look at some of the books for sale in the library and three caught my eye: “Guts” by Raina Telgemeier, “Stupid Carrots” by David Campbell, and “Butt Out” by Heath Mckenzie. All three books stood out to me because they all had the same underlying theme which was how to deal with conflict. In each book, the characters had to deal with conflict which rose up either at school, at home or conflict from differing opinions. Thus this week I would like to discuss how to help children handle conflict.

According to Kids Helpline, conflict is a normal part of a child’s life. Childmind.org highlights that no one likes to deal with conflict, however arguments, fights, and disagreements are a part of life. Thus it is important to teach children to deal with conflict in a healthy way. Kids Helpline states that if children know how to manage conflict they are also more likely to be happier, develop healthy friendships, and learn more effectively.  Kids Helpline highlights that the way children resolve conflict is dependent on several things: their age, stage of development, and life experiences. However, Childmind.org highlights that if parents help their children manage conflict effectively in early childhood, this helps them to avoid further interpersonal challenges later in life.

Kids Helpline lists the following tips to assist parents on some of the ways they can help their children (at any age) to manage and resolve conflict with others:

  1. Be a positive role model – Kids learn about resolving conflict by observing others.
  2. Create a safe environment – Allow them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of a negative or emotional reaction.
  3. Teach them strategies to calm down and help them manage their feelings – Such as deep breathing, relaxation, exercise, writing, drawing, painting, or reading one of the three books mentioned above. Ways to manage their feelings at the moment of the conflict can include counting to 10 or walking away.
  4. Teaching effective communication skills- below is a picture (From kids Helpline) that highlights some skills that can help your child communicate more effectively during a conflict:

 

For more information of how to help your children resolving conflict with others please visit the following websites:

https://kidshelpline.com.au/parents/issues/helping-kids-handle-conflict\

https://childmind.org/article/teaching-kids-how-to-deal-with-conflict/

Thank you,

Rumbi