A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18
As much as we dislike it, parents and kids will argue. What does that look like in your home?
Do the arguments escalate into shouting matches?
Do you insist on “winning”?
Or maybe it always ends with someone stomping out of the room.
Disagreements are inevitable, but how you handle them can at least result in resolution.
Here’s some guidelines for the next time conflict arises:
- Address the issue, rather than ignore it. If your child is whining, explain that it’s unacceptable and a waste of time. Or if your child is arguing about a curfew, explain that it’s your job to make hard decisions to keep her safe. I would rather you be angry at me for doing my job rather than for both of us to suffer because you made a bad decision.
- Try to understand WHY they are arguing. Do they think you are unfair? Why is this issue so important to them?
- Find a Resolution. This includes a wide variety of options: time-out or some other means of discipline, defusing situation by distracting the arguer, allowing your child to “win” and let him suffer the consequences of his choice, bring argument down to the level of a discussion and resolve the issue together.
Look at every disagreement as an opportunity to resolve conflict, not just an win/lose argument. When you seek to resolve the conflict instead of letting the argument escalate, everyone is heard respectfully.