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Tools for Resolving Conflict
Conflict is an inevitable part of life so it’s particularly important that we equip out children with strategies to navigate differences of opinion. Conflict resolution skills help our children navigate the playground and then workplaces as they grow up.
Our educators at Adventurers Wyndham Vale love techniques in How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: a survival guide to life with children ages 2 – 7, while the book was initially written for parents they work equally well in a childcare centre.
Some of the tips for resolving conflict include:
- Express Your Feelings
- “Hey! I don’t like to see people being pushed”
- Show Your Child How to Make Amends
- “I think Harry got a bit scared when you swung that stick near him. What can we do to make him feel better? Do you think he’d like to play with us?”
- Offer a Choice
- “We’re going to give the slide a rest for now. I can see you’re in no mood to wait for a turn. You can swing on the swings or go and play in the sandpit. What would you like to do?”
- Take Action Without Insult
- “We’re heading home. We’ll try the playground another day. I’m too worried about children getting hurt right now”
- Try Problem- Solving
- Step One: Acknowledge your child’s feelings: “I can see that you don’t like me squeezing your hand when we’re in the car park. It makes your fingers feel squished.”
- Step Two: Describe the problem: “The problem is, I worry about cars hitting children in the car park.”
- Step Three: Ask for ideas: “We need some ideas so we can go back to the car and everyone is safe”
- Step Four: Decide which ideas you both like: “So you like the idea of holding on to my sleeve and leading me to the car? Let’s circle that one.”
- Step Five: Try out solutions: “Here we are at the car park, which don’t you hold onto my sleeve and show me the right way!”
Give them a try and make sure you let your child’s early childhood teacher know how you go!