Working It Out


Children have to experience conflict in order to learn how to make good decisions and work through problems. As parents, we tend to step in at the first sign of trouble, but every time we interfere, we take a learning opportunity away. 

Heather Shumaker, author of It’s Okay Not to Share... and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids, says, “Conflict doesn’t have to be violent. I like to think of conflict as two different ideas bumping up against each other. When ideas bump, there’s potential for aggression and hurt feelings, but also the chance for growth, collaboration, and creativity.”

So, next time there is conflict in the house, rather than stepping in and getting children to “behave” or “obey,” stay close and guide when necessary, but give THEM the chance to practice conflict resolution. You may be surprised by the decisions they make. Once they get the chance to practice, children often have a way of working things out.