5 Steps To Successful Conflict Resolution
Reminder: Conflict is Good!
1. Calm down.
a. Everyone (including YOU) needs to calm down. You can all take deep breaths, sing a song together, count to 10 together, or whatever works for the particular kids you’re working with.
b. This step may be met with resistance. Do it with the kids to help it not feel like a punishment.
2. Listen to one side.
a. Be sure to tell the other side you will listen to them as well but right now you’re all going to listen without interrupting.
b. Once the first side has said what they observed, restate it but neutrally. For example, “Tommy was being stupid and stole my toy” could become “What I hear you saying is that Tommy picked up a toy you were playing with and that upset you.”
3. Listen to the other side.
a. Remind the first child that you all are now going to listen to the other side without interrupting.
b. Again, restate the second child’s statement but make it as neutral as possible
4. Restate the problem one more time without accusing any one side.
a. It is very important to be as unbiased as possible when restating the problem.
b. Make sure everyone feels heard.
5. Come up with solutions.
a. This is so very important. Nannies, STOP TALKING. You can count to 10 or 20, you can think about what you’re going to make for dinner that night, but DO NOT PROBLEM SOLVE FOR THEM.
b. Let both sides offer up solutions and then check in with the other side if that works for them too. If the solution works for everyone, let the kids carry it out.
c. It is important to give the children the autonomy to come up with their own solution.
6. Secret 6th Step – Check in later
a. Be sure to check in with both kids later that day or that week about what happened and how they plan to handle it next time!