Our school theme of “Can We Talk?” is the perfect tool to help children resolve peer-to-peer conflicts. As adults, we know that minor conflicts are inevitable and we have learned to recognize that most conflicts are a difference of perspective or experiences that simply need to be talked about and compromised on (hopefully). As a child learning the ways of this grand world, it isn’t always easy to recognize and accept that others will have differing opinions and actions. That’s why it is up to us to coach our children how to resolve everyday peer conflicts as a skill that can help them all throughout adulthood.
Through our Developmental Designs practices, our teachers are committed to coaching each of our children to learn how to resolve everyday conflicts with their peers. Similarly, this article from Responsive Classroom, a program that shares the same principles as Developmental Designs, provides the process adults can use to coach children in managing their peer conflicts. Through this process, children can further learn how to empathize with one another to expand their perspectives on how others think. They can also learn to collaborate and co-create a solution that better meets the needs of everyone involved. Such opportunities to overcome conflicts further help build stronger relationships that allow for sustained connections.
As parent(s)/guardian(s), this process can be adapted and practiced at home as well! Similar to the practices used at schools, here is an article by Parents Place to help these coaching moments at home.
Through the partnership of our parent(s)/guardian(s) and us, the educators, we can help our children become stronger problem-solvers who can tackle everyday conflicts with reduced anxiety and stress. This will ultimately allow for learning and playing experiences that are filled with more love and understanding.