Seven Kids: Conflict Resolution

I have had moms from different circles in my life lately ask me questions about how to deal with conflict at home:  bickering, holding on to cluttery "treasures," and defying expectations.  Here are 7 ways I deal with conflict in our home:

1.  "Do you really want that?  Is it contributing to your happiness and well-being?"  It's helpful to teach our kids to evaluate how they can choose healthful interactions with other people and things in their life. This question applies when there is an argument between siblings, when the plastic restaurant toys are taking over the floor, or when the teenager stays out too late.

2.  "Take a break." Sometimes this comes out as "Get a grip", "Suck it up", or "Really?"  Sometimes even, "Earth calling, welcome to the real world."

3.  "Try again."  If at first you don't succeed, try try again. It's an oldie, but a goodie.

4.  Thanks to the internet, we have also started using "First world problem."  This is the equivalent of our mothers' telling us, back in the day, "There are starving kids in Africa."

5.  "It's ok, I love you.  Nothing you do, and nothing you fail to do, will make me love you any more or any less. I love you because you are mine, not because of what you can do for me."  This is grace.

6.  House rules.  "This is a safe house.  So if you are doing something that is unsafe for you or others, you just have to stop." Period.

7.  "In our house we do joy. We do mistakes. We do Forgiveness.  We do fun. We do loveliness.  And we do second chances.  Let's all remember that, and extend it to everyone."

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