Learning how to handle arguments—especially making up and moving forward!—is a big life skill for kids. And you don’t need us to tell you it’s one that takes a lot of practice! Review the steps below with your kids and talk about how to use them the next time things heat up. The goal will be for them to eventually manage the steps (mostly) on their own, but be prepared to ref until they’re ready. And don’t forget to download our Peace Pact. It won’t guarantee the fights will end, but it will help ensure everyone’s committed to making up!
Step 1: Calm Down. It’s very hard to talk or even think when you’re upset, so encourage them to do whatever they need to do to feel more in control. Some ideas: Leave the room, take slow, deep breaths, or count to 10 (or 100!).
Step 2: Talk & Listen. Once everyone is ready, come back together. Each person now has a chance to describe the problem. The rules: Listen without interrupting, and be honest about your part.
Step 3: Think of Solutions. The best solution will be one that works for everyone, which will likely be a compromise. Learning to meet in the middle will save them years of grief!
Step 4: Hug & High Five! Now’s a great time to say “I’m sorry.” Hugs help too. Most of all, celebrate their awesome problem-solving skills!
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