For those of you new to this blog it was started to support an evidence-based parents workshop called Raising Safe Kids that was developed by the American Psychological Association. Our group on Monday we met for our second meeting. The poster that we made together is a fantastic model of the many risk factors that increase the risk that a child will be exposed to aggression and violence in every segment of our population.

I really appreciated the honesty and the support that everyone brought to the workshop. I hope you all felt a little more empowered to face the real challenge of raising safe kids for life. I thought that the meeting was excellent and look forward to meeting with our whole group on Monday and hearing from any visitors to our meetings or our blog.

How do you deal with conflict?  Here is a great IDEA to come to the IDEAL solution from the Raising Safe Kids Program.

Identify the problem.  If it is happening, it should. Take a moment and find out from both sides what the problem is. Can you re-define the problem so that it is a shared problem? Take “I want” and “You want” and make it, we both want to have a time with the same toy.

Determine all the possible and impossible solutions. Kids are really good at coming up with ideas of how to get what they want. Let’s listen to all the things they can think of without judgement.

Evaluate the solutions. Some are likely to be effective and some acceptable.

Act on the best solution.

Learn from the situation. What might have prevented it? Learn that you and your child are able to solve problems without fights or violence. Learn the advantages of peaceful solutions and evaluate the disadvantages of aggressive solutions.

Imagine the following scenario, Kerrie and Kim are playing a board game together when Kim jumps up in frustration and bumps the board. All the pieces are displaced and Kerrie’s winning game is ruined. Kerrie yells and sweeps her arm across the game so the pieces fly everywhere then she pushes her friend. Soon they are rolling around the room entangled in a fight.

Jeff and Tom are trying to play soccer. They are kicking the ball back and forth trying and have identified separate goals. Mark, Steve, and Alex come up and start playing. Mark joins Jeff and Steve joins Tom. Jeff says “Alex you can’t play — you stink. Mark laughs and says “yeah” and Tom says nothing. The boys generally play and keep the ball from Alex. Alex shoves Jeff and kicks the ball to the other team.

What is the problem? How would each child identify the problem? Can you reframe their definitions into a problem for all the children? How many different solutions can you think of? What might you say to encourage the children to talk about solving the problem? What will children learn if we talk about these conflicts every time?

Kelly