Thursday, January 19, 2012

8 Steps to Conflict Resolution from "The Bully Free Classroom"

  1. Cool down. Don't try to resolve a conflict when you are angry (or the other person is angry). Take a time-out, or agree to meet again in 24 hours.
  2. Describe the conflict. Each person should tell about what happened in his or her own words. No put-downs allowed! Important: Although each person may have a different view of the conflict and use different words to describe it, neither account is "right" or "wrong."
  3. Describe what caused the conflict. What specific events led up to the conflict? What happened first? Next? Did the conflict start out as a minor disagreement or difference of opinion? What happened to turn it into a conflict? Important: Don't label the conflict either person's "fault."
  4. Describe the feelings raised by the conflict. Again, each person should use his or her own words. Honesty is important. No blaming allowed!
  5. Listen carefully and respectfully while the other person is talking. Try to understand his or her point of view. Don't interrupt. It might help to "reflect" the other person's perceptions and feelings by repeating them. Examples: "You didn't like it when I called you a name." "Your feelings are hurt." "You thought you should have first choice about what game to play at recess." "You're sad because you felt left out."
  6. Brainstorm solutions to the conflict. Follow the three basic rules of brainstorming:

    • Participants come up with as many ideas as they can.
    • All ideas are okay.
    • Nobody makes fun of anyone's ideas.
    Be creative. Affirm each other's ideas. Be open to new ideas. Make a list of brainstormed ideas so participants will remember them all; then choose one solution to try. Be willing to negotiate and compromise.
  7. Try your solution. See how it works. Give it your best efforts. Be patient.
  8. If one solution doesn't get results, try another. Keep trying. Brainstorm more solutions if you need to.

If you can't resolve the conflict no matter how hard you try, agree to disagree--sometimes that's the best you can do. Also realize that the conflict doesn't have to end your relationship. People can get along even when they disagree.

Teach students what it means to respect one another and each other's differences. Teach that no one has the right to make another feel miserable, threatened and afraid. Build character education into each school day.

Teach kids to be both confident and assertive. There is a difference between being assertive and aggressive.

Educate students about bullies. Talk about common myths regarding bullying such as:
  • Being bullied is just a part of growing up
  • Bullying always involves physical aggression
  • Bullying is confined to just boys
  • Fighting back is a valid method to deals with bullies

The following are more tips for preventing bullying behavior from the article entitled "Bullies".

All children should be given regular opportunities to discuss bullying and ways to deal with bullies. in role-playing exercises, for example, children can practice saying, "Leave me alone" and walking away.
  • Children can be taught simple measures to lessen the likelihood of becoming the target of a bully. Looking people in the eye, speaking up, and standing straight are just a few behaviors that communicate self- confidence.
  • Children who tend to be loners (potential targets of bullies) can be paired up with socially competent "models." Some children need a little help learning how to make friends.
  • Because bullies are most likely to strike during unsupervised times such as recess, children should be provided with as much structured activity as possible.

Give kids strategies to effectively deal with a bullying situation but also the assurance that there are caring and supportive adults that are there to step in, take the situation seriously and will help the child resolve the situation.

By The Bully Blog with No comments


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