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Conflict, Fighting and Being Bullied – What is Normal

Hello from Montana:

Conflict, disagreements and one-ups-man are normal and often happen when children get together in homes, schools, clubs and organizations.  Where ever people who have different expectations and experiences gather, there will be some conflict, fighting and perhaps bullying.   However, hurtful words, gestures or physical attack are unacceptable ways to deal with a disagreement.  There are other less violent ways to solve problems, conflict and disagreements.

Kelso’s Choices

I really like the information presented by http://www.Kelo’s It is especially designed for students, teachers and administrators of elementary and middle school, but I have found it helpful for home.  I only wish I had it available when I was raising six kids plus many of their friends, and running an after school program.

Small Problem?  I can solve it!

Help your child to recognize that he/she has the opportunity to choose 2 of these choices when confronted with a small sticky  situation where there is an imbalance of power.

  1. Go to another game–find something else to do that interests you.
  2. Make a decision to share and take turns. Compromise.
  3. Talk it out. Use “I” instead of “You.” I feel……when ….. I need you to…….”
  4. Walk away.  Take a time to think it out.
  5. Ignore the whole situation.  Go to a secret place in your mind when you can self- soothe (mine is a big chair on the beach.. and I can cuddle up and watch the tide roll my problems out to the middle of the ocean.)
  6. Tell them to stop.  Use your body language (which is the communication of relationships) to say stop.  You might have to hold your hand up to indicate STOP and then back away from the confrontation.
  7. Apologize.  I know, it is hard to admit it might be our fault, but really look at the situation.  Truly apologize for your part in the conflict.
  8. Make a deal.  Use rock, paper, scissors to decide who gets to decide.  Perhaps you can flip a coin. Go to your quiet place and flip a coin.
  9. Wait and cool off.  Tell your sister, friend, parent, irritating guy in school “Look, I need to wait and cool off.” ” Give me some time and let’s get together in 1`5, 30 60, or 90 minutes to discuss the situation and how we can solve it.”
  10. Internalize and let it eat your guts because there is someone in the world ho does not or ever will  love and honor you.  Helllllllllllllllllo…..some people are never going to like you, no matter what you do.  So let them go and move on to the next one

Next week I will discuss  how to know if it is a big problem and how to find an adult you can trust to help you.

You are an important person and I have confidence in your ability to find solutions that will be fair.

Your friend,

Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker

PS; Want me to come and speak to your group?  Then contact me through

PSS: I really do have confidence  in you. Do you have confidence in you?  Then see http://www.ConfidenceCluse.som

Article written by

Judy is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including care giving. Trained as a ready to learn consultant, she works with Head Start organizations and child care resource centers.

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