Helping Kids Deal With Conflict

Children need to learn early that conflict is an everyday part of life.


  • Be a magnifying glass: Help them identify and express their feelings. Save your advice until after your children have explained how and what they feel. They may need your help identifying their true emotions in strong conflicts.

  • Be bifocals: Help them see both sides of the conflict. Listen intently, then help them understand problems from the other person’s point of view.

  • Be binoculars: Help them put the conflict in perspective. Focus on the long-term consequences vs. Short-term benefits of any decision.

  • Be a microscope: Help them focus on what went wrong. Zoom in on the real issues and analyze what to do about them.

  • Be a mirror: Help your kids see their roles in conflict, and not just to blame others or God for situations gone awry. When appropriate, direct responsibility for the conflict back onto them.

  • Be goggles: Help guarantee their safety. Protect them from abuse and dangerous conflicts. If someone is trying to control or pressure your kids, get involved.
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