To help my 6-year-old learn how to resolve conflict with her siblings or peers, we turn to role-playing. At least once a week, we practice thinking before speaking or reacting to a particular situation. For example, we pretend to play dress-up . When I take her tiara, Rachel must think about what to do next. She may ask for it back. Sometimes I'll return it, but other times I'll refuse to return it, and Rachel must come up with another action. Sometimes we switch roles so I can demonstrate other good responses.
If there's already been a poor reaction to a real-life disagreement, such as hitting or name-calling, we discuss what could have been done differently. And Rachel follows up by asking for forgiveness. I want to teach my daughter how to handle conflict in a God-pleasing way, so it warms my heart to overhear, "May I have that back, please?"
This article appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of Thriving Family magazine and was titled " 'May I Have That Back, Please?' ". Copyright © 2012 by Tammy Darling. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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