Expect Conflict with Your Kids
As children grow, you will discover that some conflicts with them will be easy to work through, while others will befuddle you. This is normal. What’s important is to address conflicts as they arise and work them through with your kids in peaceful ways.
Dealing with Parent-Child Conflict
- Deal with a conflict right away. If you don’t know what to do or say, acknowledge the problem and say, “We’ll talk about this later.” That way your child knows that you’re not letting certain situations slide.
- Listen to your child’s perspective. It’s essential to give him the chance to be heard—and to really listen.
- Be clear about which behaviors are acceptable and which aren’t. Conflicts often arise when kids figure out that either you’re unclear about a boundary or a situation, or that you’re overly rigid about a rule. The most effective parenting is a style that has clear rules but also values kids‘ opinions and ideas.
- Talk with other parents about the conflicts you’re having with your kids. You’ll often find that you’re not the only one struggling with a particular issue. Discovering you’re not alone can help you become more empowered to work through the conflict.
- Model peaceful conflict resolution so that your kids see you in action and learn from you.
- Point out when you and your child have worked through a difficult conflict successfully. In parenting, it’s often tempting to deal only with problems rather than naming the solutions you create.
No matter the age of your children, you’re likely to have conflicts. That’s just part of raising kids. But by being intentional about teaching your kids to deal with arguments and disputes positively, you can teach them valuable life lessons—even if it’s not much fun.
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