How to Teach Children to Solve Disagreements

Updated April 17, 2017

Children may occasionally have a disagreement at home, school or day care. It is considered beneficial for children to engage in arguments because it teaches them how to resolve disagreements in a healthy way. According to the Ohio Parent Information Network, if children don't learn how to resolve conflicts at an early age, they will have a much harder time learning the skills as adults. Take the time to teach your children how to resolve disagreements, so they grow to be respectful adults.

Set a standard by telling your child what you expect from her. You must inform her of the rules for resolving conflict once she is old enough to understand. Determine behaviours that are acceptable and unacceptable during a disagreement. For example, it is unacceptable to ever hit the person you are having a disagreement with.

Model good behaviour. If you want your child to resolve conflict effectively, you must set a good example. Don't yell, call other people names or belittle anyone during your disagreements.

Teach your child to use language to solve disagreements. Instead of shoving, hitting or whining, children should ask for what they want or need. For example, if a child wants a glass of milk, she should say, "I would like to drink some milk. May I please have a glass?"

Assist your child with dealing with her feelings. When she seems angry or upset about something, be understanding and teach her how to cope with her emotions without crying or using physical force. Instead, teach her to use "I feel" statements. For example, if another child in day care takes a toy away from her, she should say, "I feel frustrated when you take away the toy I am playing with. Please ask me if you can borrow it next time."

Offer your child praise when she effectively solves a disagreement. For example, tell her you are proud of the way she resolved an argument without hitting or name-calling. If she recognises that you are proud of her, she is likely to repeat the same good behaviour.

Show your child different ways to make amends after having a disagreement. There are more ways to make amends than just saying you are sorry. Teach your child to show she is sorry by encouraging her to give the other person a hug or a flower.

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About the Author

Katya Gordeeva began writing professionally in 2009. She has had several news and feature articles published in "The Chronicle," "Northwest Indiana Times" and "Gary 411" newspapers. Gordeeva is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Purdue University Calumet.