Our job as parents: peaceful ways to manage conflict

January 3rd, 2013

by Katrina Brooke

Before I became a parent, I believed that my children would always solve their problems with words rather than fists.

Then I became a parent…and my kids hit me…and they hit each other.

Take heart. Practically all young children experiment with being aggressive…even when raised in loving, nonviolent homes. Our job as parents is to help them learn more peaceful ways of managing conflict. Listed below are a few tips:

  • Apply the “Uh Oh Song”When your toddler hits, sing “Uh Oh,” and carry them to their room, a safe highchair, a playpen, or stroller. If you are unfamiliar with this technique study our book, Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood.
  • Pretend to be calmThe “Uh Oh Song” provides a practical strategy for replacing anger, lectures, threats, or spanking. Remember: The calmer you can look, the less likely your child will get hooked on seeing your face turn red.
  • Teach problem-solvingWhen your child is calm, role-play more appropriate strategies for dealing with frustration, anger, or conflict. Give them some possible options: “Some kids decide to say ‘I’m mad!’ rather than hitting. Some kids decide to color with crayons when they get mad. Some kids decide to go in their room and yell at the mirror.”

    This type of teaching doesn’t work quickly…but as they grow older, they will begin to learn that doing such things can help them stay out of trouble.

  • Do your best to keep them fed and restedHungry toddlers misbehave. So do tired ones. Too frequently, small children suffer because their parents or daycare providers expect them to cope with unrealistically busy schedules.
  • Let them see you getting upset AND see you handling it well.There is nothing more powerful than backing our words with actions. What makes this attainable is remembering to take good care of ourselves so that we’re not so likely to “lose it” in front of the kids.

 

Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.

 

Dr. Charles Fay

Love and Logic


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