Conflict Resolution: Teaching Peace in the Classroom

Conflict is inevitable. There is no doubt that when working with a group of children, that they might have trouble coming to a peaceful solution when conflict arises. Here are some ways to help teach conflict resolution.

Walk Away: many times arguments/fights escalate because students do not understand how to control their emotions. Many times, simply walking away and removing oneself from the situation can do wonders.

Compromise: teaching children to compromise is a necessary life skill, and many times will de-escalate a problem. Model simple ways to do this (sharing a marker, paper or working together quietly at a table) to help students understand that it doesn’t have to be their way or the high way.

Apologize: many children, and adults as well, need to learn the art of the apology. And not the forced apology, but the kind of apology where you know you mean it. Help children understand how their behavior has an effect on the other person.

Get Help: getting help is not easy, especially if a child has tried to get help from an adult in the past and has been denied. Children’s problems are not always at the forefront of our minds. Encourage the child to get help if they cannot walk away, compromise or figure out an apology. Many times adults can diffuse a situation very simply, which is great role modeling for kids.

So what about bullying behavior? Let’s face it. Bullies are everywhere: elementary school, middle school, high school and YES even in adulthood. They just take on different forms. Victims of bullies need to be taught non violent, positive ways to problem solve. And the bully’s actions need to be brought to the attention of administrators early on to make a change.

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