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Conflict is unavoidable. We all want to be listened to, respected and understood. When this doesn’t happen, we often find ourselves in the midst of conflict.

Encountering conflicts inside our homes with our children is not unusual. When there is a breakdown in the support system at home, it can result in our children questioning our priorities. If feeling neglected, children can become rebellious. This ultimately leads to conflict. A conflict is more than just a disagreement. It is as an opportunity to see our children’s perception on things that are going on in their world.

Conflict with our children must not be ignored. We must be attentive and listen to make sure that our children’s feelings are priority. Here are a few things we can do to resolve conflicts when they arise.

Don’t go to bed angry

Children will defy you to see what they are able to get away with. The result of defiance is usually a consequence that your child will find unfavourable. In retaliation to being disciplined, children resort to either the silent treatment or arguing . As parents, you are tempted to exact further discipline. Quell your displeasure. Remember, that whatever your child is feeling is a result of what he/she understands. Explain why you are disappointed and the steps that are necessary for them to earn privileges again. Do not allow your child to go to bed angry with you. A little understanding can prevent future conflicts of a similar nature.

Listen

Our children don’t have the woes of adulthood, but they have their own share of challenging experiences. If your children are being aggressive and rebellious, talk to them. Listen to concerns or problems they may be having. We often think their behaviours are typical because they’re minors; sometimes there are underlying issues. Digging a little deeper can help to uncover the real problem.

Talk it over

Despite our best efforts, there will be times when our children will fail to adhere to the rules that we put in place. After a challenging workday, it doesn’t help if our children are the source of even more chaos. It is easy to go overboard with our reactions. At times, the conversation becomes one- sided. As the parent, you believe that your word is the law. Take a moment to settle before approaching your children. This will allow you time to review the situation when you are more objective. Talk it over, and remind your children of the rules and consequences. This way, they will understand that whatever disciplinary action is taken, is a result of them breaking agreements that you made together.

Create a reward system

Parents should have consequences in place if rules are not followed. However, creating a reward system when rules are followed is a good incentive for continued good behaviour. An idea is to create a coupon book with various award certificates or a spinning wheel with a variety of prizes that can be won.

Disagreements are inevitable with children, but relationships can be repaired. Always look at conflicts as opportunities to resolve underlying issues. Remember, always use your words carefully.

By PreSha Barnes

Presha has been an educator for the past seven years. She is passionate about empowering other educators.

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