Hi, thank you for letting my have a little vacation to get some needed work done! I’ve missed sharing with you but had to get some other writing finished! It is done and I will add something at least once a week again.
I’ve been asked when children will learn to talk about their problems and resolve conflict? It turns out pretty darn early. It also turns out that systematic practice thinking about conflict helps kids solve lots of problems and adjust better in life.
Psychology has been involved in trying to reduce children’s risk for violence for a long time. Some of the efforts have paid off but the findings from researchers don’t seem to stay in our day to day practices. We need reminders and reviews and support practicing. I know you know this because you are checking back to these pages every few days to learn something else about improving your child your home, your community.
In the 1980s Myrna Shure and George Spivak developed and tested and intervention to teach preschool children how to think about problems with other people. The impact of their program is pretty impressive. You can read a really short summary, http://www.apa.org/research/action/solve.aspx.
Turns out that there is a website with a lot of the information about the program. It has columns by Dr. Shure with her opinion about current topics. Best of all there is a book and a workbook for teaching you preschooler these key life skills. Check it out: Raising a Thinking Child. and Raising a Thinking Child Workbook.
Here is the thing: Children do not learn by lecture. No one does. I say this as a former college professor. Learning comes from observing others. It comes from practicing. It comes from lots of experience with the topic. That means that children will learn how to solve problems with other people from you leading them in solving problems with you. Solve the problem for both of you and teach carefully for life!
Think of the last confrontation you had with your child. What was the problem? Was the problem that he/she wouldn’t do what you wanted? Was the problem that he/she couldn’t have what he/she wanted? Or, was the problem between you? For example, was the problem that you had a different priority from your child? Was the problem that you had more information than your child so they were making a decision without all the information? Was the problem that you had no idea what your child wanted? Give it some thought.