Parenting & Conflict
Conflict is a part of life. I know people who thoroughly enjoy conflict and others who avoid it at all costs. One of the cornerstones I cover with adolescent boys and their parents is “conflict resolution.” By utilizing my process the family is able to communicate more effectively and peacefully.
One of the biggest mistakes in a conflict is “you-ing” someone:
- “You did that wrong”
- “You act like a child”
- “You never do what I ask you to do”
- “You don’t think things through”
It is the quickest way to escalate a conflict; “you-ing” someone creates a confrontation. It feels like an attack when it’s approached this way versus using “I” statements.
Here’s a quick example:
- “I think I would have done that differently”
- “I think that was immature”
- “I would like you to do what I ask”
- “I would like to see you think things through”
- “I need you to get this done”
If you have a feeling, say what the feeling is!
Keeping it super simple; remember the big four:
I teach adolescent boys to take responsibility for issues that upset them and how to resolve. Most of the time those “issues” are with their parent(s).
Basically, in its purest form, it’s understanding that there are two sides to a conflict and it can be discussed more peacefully!
The parents learn the same process. Families are amazed that when approached correctly how easily a conflict can be resolved.
Think about conflicts you’ve had in your life; I would venture to say that if it didn’t go well it was because you didn’t feel you were “heard.” Two things that are inevitable in a conflict is someone isn’t listening and someone isn’t being heard or both(honestly, some people hear funny, and some listen funny)! Ironically, unless you are listening and you are being heard there can be no understanding. If neither can understand each other there can be no resolution.
Practice Makes Perfect
The process is learned so it takes practice. The good news is once you learn and begin to incorporate with your kids, you’ll find it can help at work, with your spouse/partner and generally anytime you find yourself in the midst of a conflict.
Stay tuned! Over the next couple of weeks, I will share more on this subject. We’ll walk through some example conversations, go over the worksheet my clients use and ultimately view a video to bring it full circle.
Get Your Free Conflict Resolution Tool – Download Here
In the meantime, begin to think of an issue you would like to resolve. As we walk through the process and you begin to practice, please share how it worked out! You’ll wish you had developed this skill years ago.
And for more information check out my book: Saving Our Sons: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success!