Our teachers at Shady Oak are committed to effectiveness. Parents—the first and most consistent teachers their children know—can cultivate like qualities in themselves.
Mediocre teachers see only one means of settling conflict: exert their authority to make one or both sides back down. Star teachers are skilled mediators who understand the win–win approach.
As head of a classroom or household, you’ll inevitably be called on to help settle differences of opinion, from one-on-one squabbles to split formal votes. And the classic method of dealing with sibling battles—“Both of you go to your rooms till you’re ready to behave”—doesn’t really teach anyone much. You need the same mediation skills you’d use to help resolve a conflict between adults.
The key principles are:
Here’s a step-by-step approach that works with most childhood conflicts:
No one likes conflict. But it’s really just a community-level version of the personal struggles essential to learning and development. Under the influence of a skilled mediator, even young children can learn to channel conflict energy into an all-around asset.