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The Art of War: 4 Steps To Help Your Child Deal With Conflict

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Helping Your Little One (And You Too!) Deal With Conflict & Fall Outs

SCHOOL selected, fees paid, nametapes affixed and post pick-up playdates organized: when it came to my daughter starting school, I thought had everything covered. But what I hadn’t prepared for was conflict; first my mini me’s falling out with another child (a situation she instigated I hasten to add) and then my subsequent falling out with her teacher over the way the incident was handled.

After extensive research (read – asking friends, watching reruns of Supernanny and turning to Dr Google), I discovered that, when it comes to conflict, mamas need to adopt the same tactics as their kiddos:

These 4 steps will help you and your little ones handle a conflict

  1. Take a time out – just as a child should be removed from conflict if they’re struggling to handle it, I found coming back to the teacher with feedback after our initial discussion helped me clarify my position on the problem and how she’d chosen to handle it.
  2. Use your words – I always tell my little one to ‘use her words’ to explain what she needs – this time I took my own advice and, after my initial cool-off period, I arranged a meeting and explained to the teacher how her criticism of my daughter had made me feel and how best I felt we could work together with increased positivity to tackle the problem.
  3. Keep things in perspective – when you find out your child has acted in a way that neither of you can be proud of it, it’s easy to overreact – but that can often make the child (and mama) feel worse. Keep things in perspective; most children struggle to settle down in school at first so one small skirmish doesn’t mean you’ve raised a psychopath. Probably 😉
  4. Sharing is caring – it’s not just children who need to be encouraged to share; it’s mamas too (preferably over wine). Talking to other mothers about the ‘face kick’ episode opened up a wealth of friendship and support that I might not have found so quickly otherwise.

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Featured images from ADDitude Magazine

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