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Whether we like it or not, conflict is a part of everyone’s lives. We cannot fight our children’s battles for them and while there are some times when we need to step in, teaching them how to handle conflict will better prepare them for many of life’s hurdles. If you begin teaching your toddler about conflict resolution at a young age, they will have a much better way of dealing with it when they are adults.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your actions are much more memorable than your words. If you tell your child to stay calm when arguing with someone but you end up shouting that is what your child will remember.
There is no way to prepare for every scenario. This is why it is more art than science. The randomness of conflicts especially timing needs to be approached from a problem-solving angle. Looking at a problem like a puzzle will help remove some of the drama and negative emotions that cloud judgment. When your toddler encounters an issue, talk them through different ways of resolving the conflict so that they can begin troubleshooting problems on their own.
Once you get these down, here are some guidelines to help you know how to react when your child has a conflict:
• Know when to step in and when to step aside.
• Discuss things that are not obvious. If your child is fighting with another kid, pointing out that the words hurt the other child is a given. Focus on why your child said something hurtful because that is what needs to be fixed.
• Keep your cool.
• Remain neutral especially if your children are fighting. It takes two to fight, so all parties need to work on appropriate conflict resolution.
About the Author
Oscar Marin is the owner of The Vine Infant Center, one of the leading preschool and infant child care centers in San Diego, CA, who is highly concerned about providing quality learning for infants, infant health care and ensures their overall development since 2007.