Tips for Parents: Teaching Children to Resolve Conflicts

Sep 10, 2007, 01:00 ET from California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

    SAN DIEGO, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Conflict is an issue that children
 often face on a regular basis, yet they tend to have little preparation on
 how to communicate effectively to handle a confrontation or argument with
 their siblings, friends, or school bullies. These rivalries can be harmful
 to children, whether mentally or physically, because they often lead to low
 self-esteem, violent behavior, and anger management issues.
     It is important to establish and maintain a home environment where
 conflict is handled in a healthy manner, so children learn to use effective
 communication tools and develop self-control. To help children deal with
 frustrations, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
 (CAMFT) offers the following recommendations:
     -- Help children express themselves. Encourage them to express their
        feelings with words instead of actions.
     -- Teach children to share. Prioritize the importance of giving to others.
        This will promote collaboration.
     -- Practice what you preach. Be careful about how you resolve your own
        conflicts with children or in the presence of children.
     -- Refrain from resolving problems for children, when possible. This will
        prepare them to independently develop effective dispute resolution
     -- Show children how to apologize. The art of apologizing is an important
        concept in mitigating conflict.
     Helping children with conflict resolution can be difficult. Consulting
 with a Marriage and Family Therapist can help in developing strategies and
 alternative ways to assist with challenging situations. Marriage and Family
 Therapists are mental health professionals who are trained to help
 individuals communicate within their families, relieve stress, and create a
 better family dynamic. To learn more about family therapy or to locate a
 therapist in your area, visit California's online mental health resource,
     About CAMFT
     The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, with 27
 chapters throughout the state, is an independent professional organization,
 representing the interests of licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.
 CAMFT provides as a resource to the public
 looking for Marriage and Family Therapists located in California. For more
 information about CAMFT, please call (858) 292-2638 or visit

SOURCE California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists