Sunday, April 26, 2009

Understanding Children Fight

All children fight with their friends now and then. Let your children know that everyone, even you, gets into arguments, and that most people feel rotten about it afterwards. These fights are not the end of the world; they are not necessarily even the end of a friendship.
And part of feeling rotten after a fight is knowing that you said or did something during the fight that you regret. Let your young warrior know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying to the adversary: “Look, I’m sorry I called you a no-neck dweeb. I didn’t mean it.” Often this step results in a similar apology from the other person, and fences get mended. The point is that disagreements do not mean disrespect. But when making apologies, the combatants have to be careful not to rehash the fight as if it were a movie they saw together. That’s how fences get unmended very quickly.
Fights cause problems for noncombatants, as well. Suppose your youngster tells you that two “best friends” have had a fight, and each of them is telling your child about it.
Tell your child that the trick here is to listen without taking sides. The situation also presents an opportunity to act as peacemaker by telling each person separately that the other one is “really bummed out about the fight you two had.”

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