Children seem to have a special knack for getting into squabbles and fights with their friends. We tell them “Don’t hit. Don’t yell.” We tell them what not to do. But we often forget to tell them what they can do when they get angry.
Here are steps your child can take to solve a problem before it gets out-of-hand. They are offered by Adelanto, Calif., teacher Diane Brantley. Tell your child to:
Calm down. No one can think straight when they are angry. So stop and count to 10 before reacting at all.
Agree to talk later. Perhaps the other child is too angry to talk about the problem now. Decide you will talk about it later.
Talk about the problem. Be honest about your feelings, but don’t name-call or blame.
Say, “I’m sorry. If you have hurt or upset someone, you should own up to and apologize for your words and actions.
Seek a solution. Each child should think of possible solutions to the problem. Then try to agree on one that’s fair.
Get help. If all else fails, ask an adult to listen to both sides of the problem and to negotiate a solution.
When you are asked to help, set some “rules.” Ask each child to speak respectfully. Give each equal time to speak.
Don’t take over and impose a solution. When children come up with their own solutions, they are more apt to abide by them.
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