Conflict resolution is one of the main tools that your child will need in his/her armour to navigate this world successfully. The groundwork for that can be laid at an early age and right from the comfort of your home. As your child grows older, there will be more and more instances where you and your child end up disagreeing over something. It would often lead to a long-drawn argument or even a full-blown fight. That’s why it’s important to make up with your child the right way because it will lay the foundation for your child’s attitude towards conflict resolution. Here are some ways to end a fight or resolve an argument the right way:
When dealing with people, it is important to understand when an individual needs some space. Even a little child will need some space and time to calm down after a major argument or an emotionally draining fight. Take a time out so that both you and your child can calm down and think rationally about the next right step. Just be at an appropriate distance from your child and wait it out until the child is ready to give you a hug or waive the white flag.
This one goes both ways. Once you and your child are done having a fight, take some time to actually listen to each other. More often than not when we argue with anyone, we are more focussed on saying our bit instead of listening to what the other person has to say. After both the parties have had a chance to calm down, let your child explain why he/she had the meltdown and how it made him/her feel. You can also share your side of the story in a rational and gentle manner. Such active listening is vital for any sort of conflict resolution.
It is imperative to offer a heartfelt apology after a misunderstanding or a fight. Irrespective of whose fault it was, it is likely that you both did something that you must apologise for. So, if your child says a genuine sorry for the meltdown or his/her actions, you can also apologize for the way you handled the situation. Always remember that your willingness to be humble and to say sorry will also help your child learn the right way to offer a genuine apology.
It is important to teach your kids that sorry is not just a word. It is more like a promise. When one says sorry, they are making a promise to the other person that they will try their best to not repeat the mistake. You can set the example by displaying a change in your behaviour so that your child learns that sorry should always be followed up by actions. When your child notices that you are putting sincere efforts to be a better parent, he/she will also want to make efforts to be an improved version of himself/herself.
Well, this is good advice to follow for anyone and a really good habit for kids to learn early in life. So, the next time you slam the bedroom door or end a conversation abruptly in anger, do smooth things over before heading off to bed. Encourage your kids to reach a truce before bedtime so that they get a peaceful sleep. Of course, always leave room to discuss the unresolved conflicts in the morning.
The right way to mend bridges after a fight is something that can help an individual in every stage of life. Once you lay a solid foundation for this at home, your child is more likely to put the learnings into practice and follow similar patterns when arguing or fighting with his/her friends. So, the next time your child has a meltdown or can’t seem to agree with what you are saying, use it as an opportunity for learning and set the right example.