Conflict Resolution Tips for Parents
Brought to FEN by National PTA®
There's a lot you can do to create a peaceful home and teach your kids to handle conflict constructively:
- The first step in managing anger and family conflict is awareness. Identify your style of dealing with anger, then recognize other OPTIONS:
- Offer alternate times or actions;
- Problem-solve in pairs or as a family;
- Tackle the issue together through compromise or collaboration;
- Ignore the problem temporarily;
- Order the necessary action clearly and respectfully;
- Nip the conflict in the bud by creating a setting that produces peace;
- Surprise or humor the angry parties.
- "If the only tools you have are hammers, every problem begins to look like a nail." The words of psychologist Abraham Maslow apply to conflict. If the only tool a child has is fighting, that will be the child's first and only method of coping with conflict.
- Be a good role model. Children learn general approaches to resolving conflict by watching their parents and other adults in their lives. How do you negotiate? When do you give in? How do you see the other person's point of view? Can you afford to admit that you've been wrong?
- Take every opportunity to enhance your child's self-esteem.
- Children are more likely to fight when they feel powerless. Give your child a voice in family discussions and decisions.
- Set aside special times with your children to give them your undivided attention.
- Encourage your children to express all their feelings-feelings of anger or hostility as well as sad and happy feelings. In turn, share your feelings with your children.
- Check and see if your school has a conflict resolution program. If not, your PTA might work with the principal and teachers to learn more about how schools deal with conflict resolution.
Excerpt from the PTA Parenting Guide: Programs and Resources
Copyright 1994 by the National PTA®.
The National PTA
330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2100
Chicago, Illinois 60611-3690