Conflict is part of any relationship. Healthy conflict helps to model what we want our adolescents to learn and keeps issues from “bottling up” inside a person. We should not try to avoid conflict, but manage it in a healthy and productive manner.
- Don’t use barriers
- Just because you are in conflict, it doesn’t mean you have the right to attack
- Make sure you pay attention to your nonverbal signals
- Be sensitive to your choice of words (be specific, use verbs)
Understanding (Listen to the story):
- Listen until you understand how the other person could be upset
- Remember, you will get a chance to talk, but LISTEN first to the other
- Reflect feelings, meanings, use paraphrases
- Be concise in your responses
- Don’t use heated or loaded words
- Say what you mean, mean what you say
- Model how you want your child to handle conflict
Often when trying to resolve conflict, people do not listen to the other. Instead they are too busy making their own ‘grocery list’ of responses. The result is neither party feels heard, gets heard, and the conflict continues.