4 Awesome Resources for Conflict Resolution with Kids!
We’ve all been there. You’re mentoring a group of youth and a disagreement arises. It can be over something you consider small, such as who gets to use the blue marker that minute, or something large, like an argument over a sensitive issue where each side is certain they are correct and no one wants to agree to disagree. Sometimes there’s tears, sometimes there’s shouting, but all too often these disagreements mean hurt feelings and damaged relationships.
So how do we, as the adults, help girls learn to respectfully disagree and work through conflicts? Tough question, right? While we don’t have a magic answer, we’ve collected some excellent resources and videos below to help you as you teach girls to navigate disagreements with grace and grit!
Host a Viewing of “How to Disagree with People” by Kid President
Kid President has some simple tips for kids about how to disagree with others such as “treat people like they’re people, people!,” “Listen! Listen! Listen!,” and “Pause. Breathe. Love.” And his format, being a kid himself, is very youth-friendly. His main points are positive, amusing, and make excellent conversation starters. So watch the video with your daughter or your troop, then discuss how to use his steps when conflicts arise.
Implement a Conflict Wheel
An excellent classroom management tool, the conflict resolution wheel is just that: a wheel (like a pie chart) with multiple options for resolving conflicts on them. Its strength is in empowering the youth to choose their own response to the conflict. The wheel should include options for resolving the issue with and without adult intervention and some common options are “ignore it,” “walk away,” “apologize,” “say what you want,” “talk it out,” and “ask for help.”
You can find many different conflict wheels already created on Pinterest or you can talk with your daughter or troop about their best practices for conflict resolution and create your own. We love this one, called “What Can I Do?”
Practice Using I-Statements
I-Statements are another awesome classroom conflict resolution tool that works just as well outside the classroom. They encourage children (and adults) to communicate their feelings in difficult situations using non-defensive communication in statements like “I feel…, when…, next time I need…”. So an example would be, “I feel frustrated when you don’t include me in planning activities for our troop, next time I need to be included.”
Need some more explanation? Check out this video for a quick overview of how (and why) I-Statements are helpful when dealing with disagreements.
Girl Scout Badges and Journeys
Conflict resolution skills are an important part of forming healthy relationships. And we want girls to build healthy relationships! That’s why we have multiple badges and Journeys that help girls build skills on that topic. Check out our badge explorer. You’ll find petals and badges to help your Girl Scout, like Daisy Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout, Brownie Making Friends, and Cadette Finding Common Ground to name just a few.
We even have a Journey for our Cadettes that is all about “developing healthy relationships, navigating cliques, and moving beyond stereotypes.” It’s called aMAZE! The Twists and Turns of Getting Along and it also includes an activity on I-Statements!
Feeling more empowered to help mentor your girls through their next disagreement? With these excellent tips, a dash of determination, and a pinch of your own unique mentoring style, we know you can teach girls to be courageous and caring as they learn to navigate conflicts with grace and grit!