I don’t know that anyone loves confrontation.
It can be hard to resolve problems.
So often I think we try to ignore things until we totally flip out and then we just end up with a ton of pent-up anger.
I have really put forth some effort to help my kids learn to deal with confrontation so that they don’t have a “fight or flight” response when they deal with common confrontation.
Here are my five tips for helping your kids deal with confrontation:
Watch from the sidelines.
How close you are — really depends on their age.
Tiny kids often have “playdates” or trips to the park. This is a good time to kind of stand back and watch how they interact. Notice that they are sometimes the agressor, and sometimes someone else is bullying them. Clearly, you don’t want anyone to get hurt — but letting them kind of navigate the social sphere is improtant training for what’s going to come later.
As they get older, you kind of shift away a bit more. Maybe give a few tips from the sidlines about ideas.
Be sure to go over any big incidents on the way home or as they’re eating a snack on the sidelines with you, etc. Talk about how they could handle things better, or inappropriate things they did. Help them to get some ideas about how they can handle situations, without you swooping right in to save them.
When kids are in school, I give them every opportunity to deal with things on their own. If I hear of something that sounds like it could be a problem, I often email the teachers to let them know what I heard, so they could maybe keep an eye on it (or give me any extra info).
Again, you’re just slowly withdrawing from situations so that they can learn to handle it on their own.
Show them appropriate confrontation when possible
If you need to talk to a store manager about an incident, don’t hesitate to bring them. It helps them see that confrontation is a normal part of lie.
Show them appropriate words and skills that you use to navigate the situation.
Being able to navigate disagreements with their father/your husband also. There’s no reason for kids can’t see you disagree about something. You probably don’t need to have your knock-down drag out fights in front of them…. but small disagreements — again — show them how to have these talks.
Encourage them & Role Play
When they have an issue encourage them to deal with it. If they are concerned/worried, do some role play about how conversations might go.
Encourage them not to be nervous and not to let their emotions get the best of them.
So often I see nurses, parents at school or even just friends unable to deal with confrontation.
They cry, they avoid it — their heart races.
BUT, learning to smooth out problems can be some of the best characteristics we can possess. I know it’s something we really want in the workplace
Helping your kids deal with confrontation will be a gift for them to use the rest of their life.
Do you have tips about dealing with confrontation — tell me below!
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Don't get caught Off-Guard
Next time your kid runs into a bully, give them the tools they need to help them carry on. 🙂