GREENSBORO, NC -- Yes, the holidays are over, but you and the family are still stuck together in the house!
There's nothing like a break to make all the conflicts come to the surface, "You're in the bathroom too long!", "Mom, she won't leave me alone!", "Dad, he won't let me play the game!".
Piedmont Parent Magazine's January issue tackles helping kids resolve conflict on their own. Eleanor-Scott Davis gave us the cliff notes version to get us started.
HOLD OFF ON THE RESCUE. It's hard parents, but don't step in too quickly. Kids need to learn how to resolve conflicts and having a parent make the decisions all the time doesn't let them grow. Davis says, if it gets physical, you of course step in, but let the kids feel it out for themselves.
GUIDE WITH COOPERATION. The next time you witness an argument, help guide the conflict with compromise and cooperation. Davis says do the old "you split, I choose" method when both kids want to have the same thing.
MODEL GOOD FIGHTING BEHAVIOR. Kids look to their parents to see how to fight. So, model good fighting behavior. Show how to respectfully disagree and how to apologize and forgive.
FEEL THE EMOTION. Emotions are part of life. We all need to learn how to feel emotions and articulate them without acting out. This takes practice. Watch for the signs it is getting out of control: name-calling, screaming, bringing up old problems or simply not making sense.
PROCESS. You need to talk to your kids about how they resolved their conflict (or didn't). The Piedmont Parent Magazine article goes into it more in depth. We've linked you to it!