This post offers 10 Phrases that will hopefully give you some guidance on how to communicate with a child during conflict. Before we get to those tips, though, think about this: Have you considered that in order to effectively clear up conflicts and successfully manage challenges with children you (yes, we adults) need to look inward?
When I heard this notion from Leslie Chertok, a therapist whose specialty is helping people find their true, whole selves by being present and in tune with the body and the environment, something clicked for me. It makes sense. We have to understand where we're coming from in order to be a better parent and caretaker to our children.
A big part of my Montessori training involved taking time to reflect and to be introspective about the role of the teacher in the classroom. To be simple, the importance of leaving our baggage at the classroom door. Why? Children pick up on the energy of the people around them in profound and accurate ways. Understanding what baggage you might be bringing to the classroom and learning to manage it for you to benefit the children in the classroom AND allows you the freedom to better observe and guide the children.
“…the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.” ― Louisa May Alcott
Clearing Up Conflicts with Children
Consider for a moment that an ongoing problem you're having with a child is a signal of an unresolved issue that you, as a parent and/or caretaker, have about that particular challenge or stage of life. Wild, right? So, if we can take time to gain clarity on our own issues, helping our child – with direct communication especially – will become easier.
How to Communicate with a Child During Conflict
Below are ten phrases you might say to a child during a conflict or difficult situation:
- I'm feeling scared about something right now. I want to tell you about it.
- There is something I am angry about…
- I'm feeling sad about something right now. I want to tell you about it.
- I'm feeling frustrated about something right now. I want to tell you about it.
- There is something I want you to stop doing right now.
- I want you to do “this” instead of “that”
- There is something I really appreciate about you. I want to tell you what it is.
- I enjoy watching you…
- There is something I want you to do right now.
- I don't enjoy watching you…
What would you add to this list?
Coupled with acknowledgment and encouragement of your child's feelings, this direct approach to communicating with your child will certainly have a positive impact.