Managing Conflict with our Children
Conflict is not limited to people who are going through separation and divorce.
Conflict is prevalent in almost all facets of our lives.
And in our most important relationships, the relationships we have with our children, conflict is inevitable.
I recently began reading the book No-Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson and have been gaining valuable insight on how to manage conflicts with my children.
What is especially wonderful is that the insight I have gained can also be applied to the conflicts I experience with the adults in my life.
Here are some of the basics:
Stay Curious - What's going on with the child (or adult) you're in conflict with?
Connect - Empathetically reach out to the child (or adult) you're in conflict with.
How do you feel when you're upset and not handling yourself well?
Re-Direct - Turn the attention towards your desired outcome.
Sometimes our children are hungry or tired, and conflict is easily managed through a snack or a nap, but other times it might be more difficult to navigate.
No child (or adult), is going to be on their best behaviour 100% of the time (I'm certainly not!).
Managing the conflicts we experience with our children might not be brain science, but it can sure be difficult when they a throw toy at their newborn sibling's head for the trillionth time (...from personal experience, I can tell you I'm about ready to lose it about this one).
I appreciated this book's honesty that this method will not work all the time nor will it be easy all of the time. Luckily for me I will be a parent for the rest of my life so I will get many opportunities to practice managing the conflicts I experience with my children!
Another thing that I appreciated about this book is that it has a synopsis ("cheat-sheet") at the back that you can share with other people who care for your children - this could be especially helpful for parents who are in a co-parenting relationship and do not see eye to eye with the other parent on how to manage conflict and discipline.
Like with any conflict, conflict with our children is an opportunity to gain understanding and to strengthen the bond we share.
When we handle conflict poorly, we may damage our relationships.
When we handle conflict collaboratively and respectfully, we deepen our connection.
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