The anguish we feel when kids come home from school after having a fight or conflict is hard to deal with.
It all happened on the same day for my son.
He came home crying about 2 incidents where his little heart was broken. The first was an incident on the playground where names were called and bragging ensued. The second incident was in class, where they were doing a movement activity and another student laughed at his dance moves.
These days, everyone has trouble communicating. People yell. Coworkers talk over one another to prove their point.
We want our kids to do better.
To be able to face a conflict and flourish from it!
But how do we do that?
How do we push down that urge to go full “mama bear” on others and solve every painful conflict our kids face?
Here are some tried and true tips on how to help your child through conflict and come out stronger on the other side.
Practice Active and Reflective listening.
The best way to help your child through a conflict is to listen to them. Give them your full attention, eye contact, and actively listen to what they have to say.
Ask them to tell you about what happened and then repeat back to them what you heard.
“So what I’m hearing you say is that you felt hurt and embarrassed when Sarah called you a name at recess.”
This will help your child figure out what the real problem is and help them process how they feel about it.
Don’t tell your child that they are overreacting.
We’ve all said it before to at least one of our kids…
It’s not a big deal.
Oh they didn’t mean it that way.
Ouch! That stings! It doesn’t feel good to have someone tell you that your experience or perception isn’t correct. It can make you feel disrespected, not supported, and not listened to.
Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker, a psychology instructor at Northeastern University and a psychotherapist says “their feelings — no matter how dramatic they seem — are real.”
So while it may seem like they are getting really upset over something so small, try not to pass judgement on what they are feeling. Just acknowledge it and move on.
Decide on a course of action that your child is comfortable with.
Ask them what they want to do about their problem. How do they want to solve it?
If they don’t know, help them brainstorm on options. If they ask you to do it, offer to do it with them, but not for them.
An article from Scholastic notes while sometimes it seems easier and faster to jump in and solve a problem for our kids. But solving their problems can send the message that you don’t think they can solve problems by themselves.
Allowing your child to work through a conflict shows your faith in their abilities, builds resilience and life skills.
READ: How to Raise Self-Reliant Kids
Work with the school.
Communication is KEY! If your child’s conflict happens while they are at school, then reach out to the teacher and communicate clearly about what happened.
Ask them if they have any ideas on how to work through the conflict. If your child has a plan of action, let the teacher know so they can support your child.
Loom can help you by allowing you to send video messages via email. How cool is that?!
So keep up the good work mamas. We know we can teach our kids to do better and grow from their own conflicts on the playground.
Resources we shared:
The best mom is a happy mom. To better take care of you, download our No Guilt Mom mindset here . These reminders will help you second guess less, and feel more confidence every day in your parenting.