Founder and CEO of The reThink Group, Reggie Joiner, joins hosts Kristen Ivy and Carlos Whittaker to discuss how to help kids resolve conflict properly in today’s episode of the Parent Cue Live podcast.
- Talk about difficult issues in a non-confrontational setting. Sometimes tough conversations are better received when they’re not happening in a formal setting. Create a moment or environment to have this conversation during a car ride, a bike ride, or a hike.Write it down. Encourage your kids to write down what they’re thinking, especially if they’re not very verbal. Sometimes kids (and adults, too) find it easier to express themselves in ways other than talking.Learn to ask the right kinds of questions. The right kinds of questions give your child the freedom to express themselves. Asking questions such as, “What did I do to make you feel that way?” and “Are there things you wish were different that we can work on together?” show you are considering their feelings.
As much as we’d like to enclose our kids in a protective bubble and keep them away from all conflict, the reality is, we can’t do that. Conflict is a very real part of life and it’s something kids experience quite early.
As parents, it’s our responsibility to equip our kids with the life skills to handle life’s challenges properly. One of the most important lessons we can teach our kids, then, is how to resolve conflict well. If you think about it, poor conflict resolution is at the heart of many adult issues. If we teach our kids to resolve conflict in a peaceful way now, we could help them avoid some big heartache later on.
The important key to conflict resolution
Before we go any further, know one thing: Conflict is healthy. Now, most of us might cringe at the thought of something so uncomfortable being healthy based on our past experiences, however, it’s important for you to embrace this idea when approaching the topic with kids.
Now that we’ve embraced the healthiness of conflict, let’s dive right in: How in the world are we supposed to help our kids handle conflict well?
The first step is teaching our kids how to listen. There’s an old phrase that says, “We have two ears and just one mouth for a reason.”
“The power of listening could be a key in how we resolve conflict and that’s going to be learned first at home with a parent,” Reggie Joiner says.
Intentional listening is what parents should aim for. This means you’re not formulating a rebuttal in your mind when your kid is talking, but truly listening to them instead. If your child is having trouble expressing himself or herself, maybe that’s a cue that you need to switch up the environment, having the important conversation during a car ride or a hike, or ask them to express their feelings through writing or drawing a picture (for younger kids). When your child feels heard by you, you are creating a safe space for them to keep the conversation going.
Tune into the podcast to hear even more helpful tips and pieces of wisdom about conflict resolution from Reggie, Kristen Ivy, and Carlos Whittaker.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Kill The Spider by Carlos Whittaker
QUOTES IN THIS EPISODE
VOICES IN THIS EPISODE
Reggie is founder and CEO of Orange(The reThink Group). He has co-written three parenting books, Don’t Miss It, Playing for Keeps and Parenting Beyond Your Capacity as well as other leadership books including A New Kind of Leader and Think Orange. Reggie lives in Georgia with his wife, Debbie, and has four grown children, Reggie Paul, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebekah.
Carlos is an author, speaker, and content creator living in Nashville, TN with his wife Heather and 3 kids Sohaila, Seanna, and Losiah. He is addicted to social media, his wife’s enchiladas, and is determined to have his daughters teach him to land a backflip on the trampoline by the time he is 45.
Kristen is the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange, Director of The Phase Project, and co-author of Playing For Keeps and It’s Just a Phase – So Don’t Miss It. She combines her degree in secondary education with a Master of Divinity and lives with her husband, Matt, and their three children, Sawyer, Hensley, and Raleigh, in Cumming, GA.
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