If your kids never have conflicts, don't bother reading about this excellent strategy. Our parenting expert and author, Dr. Michele Borba, who wrote The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, is here to share a top way for helping kids stand up for themselves and resolve fights. She'll use the acronym, STAND.
Helping Kids Solve Conflicts with STAND
Each letter of STAND has special meanings. If we aid kids in making this method a habit, they'll be wiser now and in the future, lessen their arguments, and enhance their chances for success.
S = Stop and Calm Down
1. Call for a time out.
2. Take a deep breath.
3. Get a drink of water.
4. Leave for a minute and then come back.
When everyone has calmed down, then it's time for the next step.
T = Take Turns Telling What the Problem Is
. No put-downs or criticisms
. No interrupting
1. Ask each child, "What happened?"
2. Tell the children to summarize each other's view and to begin with the word "I" rather than "You."
3. The goal is to help each child understand what it feels like to be in each other's shoes.
A = Alternatives, list different ways for resolving the conflict
1. Brainstorm the first thing that comes to your mind.
2. Avoid putting each other's ideas down.
3. Try to come up with ideas that work for both sides.
N = Narrow the Choices
1. Eliminate solutions that are unacceptable to either side.
2. Eliminate solutions that aren't safe or wise.
D = Decide on the Best Choice and Do It!
1. Think about the consequences for each possible choice by asking, "What might happen if you tried that?"
2. What are the pros and cons of each choice?
3. What is one last change that would make your choice even better?
4. Once they agree on a choice, each child shakes hands and says, "I agree."
Dr. Michele cites research that says "children who were skilled in problem solving were less likely to be impulsive and aggressive when things don't go their way: tended to be more caring and less insensitive; were better able to make friends; and tended to achieve more academically." (From pages 51-52)
Dr. Michele gives us this top problem solving strategy. It has such enormous benefits for our children. I especially like it because it's so simple. I suggest copying her method to keep handy when you need it. Then help your kids STAND up for themselves and make it a habit.
Let's APPLAUD Dr. Michele for her expert advice in giving us a process for helping our children resolve their fights and standing up for themselves. If all children were taught this strategy, the outlook for world peace would be very bright.
Pick up The Big Book of Parenting Solutions to find the answers you need.
Available at Amazon.com
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