I was chatting with a client the other day and she shared her story about her children fighting in the bath. Her daughter was teasing her younger brother. Usually, mom would get frustrated and acknowledge her upset son and make her daughter apologise. Everyone would still be left a little upset.

What could be the solution in this situation?

She tried a different approach and the result changed.  Asking your children quality questions is the most powerful way to resolve most conflicts. It develops the way they think and feel, which is our ultimate goal as parents.

The New Approach:

  1. She checked in with herself of how she was feeling and made sure she wasn’t walking into the bathroom frustrated or upset. She approached with curiosity, no blame or responsibility.
  2. She asked her son what he was feeling. Sometimes when one child teases another they are satisfying their need for power, to get a reaction from their sibling, making their brother or sister feel small (powerless). When her son had a chance to speak about how he felt, he immediately felt heard and this raised and restored his feeling of power.
  3. She noticed her daughter’s response. When her daughter heard from her brother how he felt, she realised within herself how she had made him feel, and she Getting children to develop their own empathy is far better than “teaching” them to apologise because this will then become their automatic response rather than having to be prompted.
  4. She had a conversation with her daughter to make her aware of how she felt when saying what she did. When children realise that they need power, we can help them feel powerful in other ways which are kinder and more fulfilling.

Mom now felt happier too because she had not taken on the responsibility to fix the situation; she just facilitated and developed them to resolve their conflict

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