Children need our help to demonstrate how to sort disputes independently. An ability to resolve conflicts will promote social development and assist your child in making friendships.
Talk about it
Remind children to use kind words and not their hands to sort disputes. Help your child to use their words by demonstrating. At a young age grabbing, pulling and shouting are easy ways to get what they want. We need to demonstrate more sociably acceptable ways that work.
Diffuse the situation
If a child is very distressed, give the child time to calm down before intervening. Remove the child from the situation calmly and tell them to have some time to calm down before discussing their problem.
Sympathise with both parties
Ensure to remain un-biased. As adults we can often see the ‘guilty’ party. But, children need to feel you are on their side in order to cooperate. Try to reason with both parties and understand why they acted in that way.
Example scenario: ” I know you grabbed the toy as you wanted to play with it. It is ok to want to play, but it is not ok to grab. What is a better way to let James know you want to play?”
Demonstrate and promote empathy
When the child has calmed down, talk about how their actions made them and the other child / children feel. They need to realise their actions can hurt other children’s feelings.
Think about solutions
Come to an agreement on how to make them and the other child / children feel better. Ensure they follow through with the solution. Stay close by to ensure all parties stick with the agreement.
Praise children for positive conflict resolution with rewards and praising words.