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How to Teach Kids to Resolve Conflicts Without Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
16 pages
The video teaches parenting skills on how to resolve conflicts without violence.
A conflict is a clash between people who hold sharply opposite or different views, ideas, or opinions. People often use ineffective ways to win: verbal aggression, manipulation, or trying to get others involved persuading the other person. Conflicts are not supposed to be contests with win or lose propositions, but positive opportunities that allows growth and the building of strong and lasting relationships. The goal is not to avoid conflicts but to learn to resolve them so everybody wins and nobody loses. The learning objectives are to teach children to think about conflict, talk about conflict, and to try to work it out. In thinking about the conflict you are asking these questions. Who am I in conflict with? What is the conflict about? And what is my part in the conflict? In talking about the conflict you are to use “I-statements” to tell your side of the conflict and how you feel about it. Ask the other person to tell his or her side of the conflict; pay attention; don’t interrupt. To be sure you understand the other person, repeat in your own words what you heard him or her say. In trying to work it out, ask the other person what he or she wants to happen and listen carefully without interrupting. Tell the other person what you want to happen. Work out a situation that satisfies you both by compromising. If you can’t compromise, “agree to disagree” for now, or agree to discuss it later. Learning to resolve conflicts goes beyond learning to handle anger. When kids in conflict are able to handle their anger, they still can remain stuck in conflict, unable to resolve the situation or to get past it. If kids can’t settle the conflict, they can become frustrated, and that can lead to violence. It’s not safe to try to resolve conflicts when either person is too angry; either person has been using alcohol or other drugs; the situation itself is not safe; and the conflict is with a bully.


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