The Guidance Counselor at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School provides short-term individual and small group guidance lessons that address academic and personal success. The Counselor provides classroom guidance lessons that include respect, bullying, conflict resolution/problem solving, study skills/test taking skills, and character education. Communication between the Guidance Counselor and parents is vital. If you have a concern about your child, please call or email.
Longtime educator Caltha Crowe says we can help children learn how to manage certain everyday conflicts with others -- instead of solving these problems for them.
In the article, “Coaching Children in Handling Everyday Conflicts,” she suggests teaching a multi- step problem solving technique. The goal is to teach children how to solve their own problems in a cooperative and respectful way. Children will feel successful when they are able to solve their own problems.
Here is her step-by-step guide on how to help a child in conflict. She suggests:
First, allow the child or children to cool off. They should take some deep breaths to calm down and be open to talking and listening.
The child who is upset should state the issue or concern first. Be sure to use an “I” statement… “I feel _______ when you __________. “ The child will address the other child. The adult will help mediate and encourage both to talk and listen to each other.
The second child will actively listen. This means the child will listen and paraphrase what the first child said.
The second child states his/her point of view of what happened.
The first child actively listens and restates what the second child said.
Both children talk and listen until they feel like they have been heard.
The children then reach a conclusion as to how to solve the conflict. Both need to agree on the resolution.
Follow up with both children to make sure they are both keeping to the resolution.
Children will face many conflicts in their life. Adults will not always be around to help them, but we can give them the tools to use on their own. Conflicts are inevitable. A good time to talk about conflict management is when the child isn’t in the middle of a conflict.
Instead, spend time reading a book about a conflict or discussing a real life problem you are dealing with as a way to process this technique. Here are some examples of books where the character has to deal with a problem. Share a book together and process how the character solved the problem.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
The Little Bully by Beth Bracken
I’m Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
Welcome to the Town of Remarkable by Lizzie K. Foley
The Underdogs by Mike Lupica
Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls Series by Meg Cabot
Middle School series by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts