"I'm Not Saying Sorry": Conflict Resolution
What’s A Child’s Hardest Word? Conflict resolution tips for parents.
What You Need To Know
How often do parents hear ‘Sorry’? Many times, children say sorry because they just want problems to go away. The mess on the bedroom floor, the crying sister, or the unfed cat… sorry. For parents, the key to progression is getting their fourth grader to understand why they should feel sorry. Once a child appreciates the consequences of their actions, they will start to develop empathy.
How You Can Help
- I-messages. What’s an I-message? “I feel irritated when you don’t feed the cat. I need you to remember to do this.” Link your feelings with their actions, then add a solution. Role-play with your fourth grader to imagine when they might use an I-message. “I feel angry when you don’t let anyone else use the bat, Anthony. I need you to let the rest of us have a turn.”
- Listen. In conflicts, both sides have a point of view, and both need the opportunity to speak. When your child is upset, focus completely on them. Giving your full attention will teach them to listen actively when they’re resolving their own conflicts.
- Reflect. I-messages need feedback. “I heard you say you were angry about me using the bat, Angus. I’m sorry, and I’ll hit one more ball and then give someone else a turn.”
- Do as I do. Everyone has conflicts, not just children. But if your fourth grader hears you yelling at the mechanic, or the dentist, or your partner, they’re likely to display the same behavior. Reflect and use I-messages in your own disputes, and your child will start to do the same.
For more information on helping children solve conflicts, please see the full article:
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- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Child Development Theories
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- The Homework Debate
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Problems With Standardized Testing