November 20, 2013

Conflict resolution

We Can Work It Out: Conflict Resolution for Children
by Barbara K. Polland, Ph.D.

Polland, a psychotherapist, has designed this book as a series of questions designed to foster discussion between parents and children. It addresses common conflicts that arise between children and encourages them to talk about their feelings. Further questions help them think about possible resolutions.

Polland's book is a good tool for helping children acquire independent problem-solving skills without parents having to resort to overly critical or disciplinary methods.

Tired of Yelling: Teaching Our Children to Resolve Conflict
by Lyndon D. Waugh, M.D.

Family psychiatrist Waugh's fifteen-step conflict resolution model may sound complicated, but as you read through his solutions, you realize how practical and doable it really is. Divided into three parts with five steps each, they are: thinking steps, talk/listen steps, and solving steps. The thinking steps help in assessing emotions, gauging their intensity, and learning to recognize the real problem, the talk/listen steps help in the appropriate expression of feelings and in understanding another's point-of-view, while the solving steps help in brainstorming solutions. 

Waugh understands the obstacles parents may need to overcome before his method can be attempted. He suggests strategies for dealing with defensiveness, skepticism, and noncompliance, before tackling the conflict resolution skills addressed to four different age groups: infants to preschoolers, elementary-school-age children, preteens, and teens. He also discusses how his method may be used by adults, and shines a light on how attitudes about anger and conflict patterns are formed from childhood onwards. It really helps in gaining insight into our own behaviours and finding more appropriate ways to express them.

Waugh's conflict resolution model can be used by the whole family for a more peaceful and tranquil home. Highly recommended.

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