As parents, we sometimes try to prevent our children from encountering problems or we try to solve it as adults instead. Are we doing good or bad to our children while meeting our need to be useful? We have to realize that even though solving the problem for them can get the child out of the problem, the real issue is to develop the child's conflict resolution skills. If we imagine our child to be an individual who knows how to solve problems and make decisions under his/her own control, this can only be possible by supporting their independence and guiding conflict resolution.
How can we guide our children in problem solving as parents?
1. Be sure to listen to your child during the conflict. Try to understand his needs and wants.
2. Summarize that you understand what your child is saying. This will meet your child's need for being understood.
3. When your children encounter a problem, they either attempt a solution, complain, ignore the problem and avoid dwelling on it. By encouraging your children, you should be able to give them the opportunity to solve their problems themselves.
4. It is necessary to support conflict resolution skills by looking from different perspectives. Instead of telling him the solution directly, you should ask them open-ended questions to get the child thinking.
- "What happened?”, "What is the problem?", "What happened before .............? (for example, before he/she shouted at you)?”,
- ".............. (for example, when he/she screamed at you) how did you feel?”,
- "When you did ........ (for example when you complained to her/his mother) what happened? ”,
- "What could he/she have felt when you did (complained)? ”,
- “What happened after you complained?”,
- "What else could you do other than (to complain)? ”,
- "Do you think it's a good idea? ”(If you think it's a good idea, you might say that then you can try it),
- Do you think this is a suitable place / time to do (to complain about) ............ ?”
- Do you think of a more appropriate time for this?” Encourage them to think about the issue. With such conversations, the child is directed to think about the causes of his/her own behavior, the effects of his/her behavior on others and the possible consequences of his/her behavior.
5. When conflicts, which are the inevitable result of living together, also occur at home, addressing this at family meetings will help your child to be a model for conflict resolution.
As parents, do not forget that instead of owning conflict resolution, being a part of the solution process will benefit everyone in the long run to achieve the goal.