Conflict Resolution with Kids and Teenagers

For the month of June we’ve been focusing on all sorts of conflict. From art and literature to conflicts at work and more, knowing how to resolve conflicts is a skill that we all need and can all improve upon. And conflict is something we all deal with at home, too. Especially parents! Just think of all of the arguments you’ve had with toddlers. Even if you’re not a parent, you’ve seen adults struggle to resolve some crying over the smallest of things.

And what about teenagers? Teenage rebellion is built around conflict. With parents, school, and something it even feels like it’s them versus the world. Since this kind of conflict affects all of us, we’ve gathered some great resources to help you resolve those conflicts faster, better, and hopefully with fewer tears.

Conflicts with Toddlers and Younger Children

close up of young child screaming

Scholastic has been with us all through many decades of education, and conflict and conflict resolution is no foreign concept for them. This article from them is excellent and shows how children actually learn, at every stage, through conflict. It’s important to remember that arguments aren’t just about getting their way or causing problems. Children are actually learning! And that means the ways you want to resolve conflicts with kids may look a bit different than what you would do with slightly older children.

What about children who are having conflict with another child? This is another excellent learning opportunity. And although it may feel stressful in the moment, this great blog from Carrots are Orange gives you specific advice and steps to take to get to a resolution that works for everyone and prevents them in the future, too.

Conflicts with Teenagers

teenager with backpack walking away from viewer scratching his neck depressively

As this article from Huffington Post says, “Coping and managing conflict is one of the most important lessons your children will ever learn. All day long, children confront conflict — they disagree with their parents, their siblings, their friends, their teachers — so it is impossible to protect them from it… but you can help them learn how to deal with it.” And that is so true! The earlier our children learn how to cope with conflict, the easier it will be for them as they grow up and confront even more conflict at work, school, and with their peers.

Teenagers (and tweens) are often faced with a different kind of conflict now, one that is based in social media. Whether it’s an internal conflict that comes from seeing others living “perfect lives” on Instagram, or if it’s an external conflict with friends as they all grow and change, teenagers have conflict at every turn. This article in the New York Times, written by a psychologist, gives more great advice on helping teenagers learn how to manage the conflict. And you might just find yourself using some of the techniques described here, too.

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