As young children begin to interact with the world around them and communicate more, they are bound to encounter a specific type of interaction that many of us dislike: conflict. Toddlers and preschoolers don’t have much difficulty making their dissatisfaction known, but they still need to learn to communicate in a positive way. As a parent or caregiver, you can help them learn to resolve conflict on their own.
If your child is ready to start school, Mountain Kids in Fort Collins is a great place for them to learn fine motor skills, reading, art, and how to respect and have fun with friends. Learn more about Mountain Kids Preschool and download the registration packet for 2019.
Identify That There Is An Issue
When a child is having an issue, point it out. Often, children don’t realize what the issue is during a disagreement. Identifying the problem is the first step to solving it.
You could say something like, “It sounds like you can’t decide on who gets to play with which doll. Why don’t we decide what to do?”
Get On Their Level
It’s important that when you’re helping your child you get down on their level so they don’t feel like they’re being talked down to. By sitting with them, you’re communicating that everyone plays an equal part in resolving the conflict. By physically getting on your child’s level, it makes them feel like they have more power to make decisions.
Take Turns Talking
Ask each child to share what’s wrong and how they feel about the conflict. Let them know that they will each get to share and no one is allowed to interrupt. This gives each child a chance to voice their opinion and hear what the other one has to say.
Ask for Ideas
Once everyone has shared, ask each of them how they think the problem should be solved so that everyone is happy. Again, let each child share their idea for a compromise without being interrupted.
Don’t Offer the Solution
It’s important that you don’t give your opinion while the children share their feelings and ideas on a resolution to the problem. This will give them the opportunity to problem-solve and work through ideas that will make both of them happy.
Don’t try to force them to do anything either. Children do not learn for themselves when you tell them what to do or force a decision on them.
Summarize the Conflict and Solution
Once the children have agreed upon a solution for their problem, review the original problem and what they decided on for the solution. By summarizing the situation, it helps solidify the lesson that each child has learned. It will help them make sense of the situation and how they moved from the original conflict to find a solution. This will give them a path for problem-solving in the future.
Help as Necessary
As your toddlers or preschoolers begin to put their solution into action, keep an eye on them to see how things go. Remind them of each other’s feelings and what they agreed upon as necessary to make sure the resolution is a good compromise for everyone.
As you’re helping your children with conflict resolution, remember to keep a third-party viewpoint and remain neutral. Acknowledge both sides of the conflict as equal and valid points.
Protect children from any physical danger. It’s important for children to face their personal conflict, but you should prevent them from any hitting, pushing, or biting.
If a child seems to be having a hard day, keep an eye on them and shadow them to guide them through interactions. They could be tired, hungry, over-excited, testing limits, or dealing with a variety of emotions.
Find the Best Preschool
When children are old enough, enrolling them in preschool is a great way to help them continue to build skills. This includes reading, writing, and fine motor skills, as well as social skills and conflict resolution. At Mountain Kids Preschool, your child will learn how to respect their classmates so that they can all have fun together. Get more information about our curriculum, daily schedule, and download the 2019 preschool registration packet today.