3 Steps to Help You Work Through Conflict

Whether your children are younger or teens and making college plans, our weekly prompts help teachers and families strengthen relationships both in the home and outside it.

The life skills of listening and responding from the heart, learning to regulate emotions through breathing, and building empathy will help in all relationships. You’ll all move through life more easily: at school, in relationships, in your careers. These skills will help you work through conflict, but it’s helpful to learn how to work together as you encounter conflict.

You also need to learn how to remain present amid conflict and learn how to work together towards a resolution.


The Mindset
Conflict comes, even in great relationships! Just because things go sideways from time to time doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. Instead of beating yourself up or blaming your child (or co-worker, student, or significant other) for the difficulty, consider a better question: “How do you navigate this in the best way possible?”

how to work through conflict with kids

The Visualization
Imagine for a moment that you have an old-fashioned yard stick: a nice long, straight 3 foot measure. When you come to a disagreement with someone, it’s easy to sit face-to-face with them and confront them about the “problem.” You’re putting that 3 foot divider between you and standing toe-to-toe to see who will win. You become combatants.

The Outcome
What would happen instead if you sat beside your child so you could face the difficulty together? Shoulder-to-shoulder. This time, you’re shifting the line from between you to in front of you. Now you can stand together against the issue at hand.

This perspective shift can do great things to your family, classroom, or work dynamic. You can now successfully work through any conflict. Suddenly you’re a team ready to take on the world together.