As a parent, I try hard to make everything positive in my home. I want my children to know that people do not always agree, but there are ways to handle conflict. Yet in the same manner, I want my children to know that all differences do not become conflicts. As a child, my parents would tell my sister and me to talk about the situation to come up with a resolution before bringing it to them. They would always say “If your teeth and mouth are so close and they still get into disagrees. Then certainly you and your sister are going to disagree. Work it out.” Sometimes their method would work, but often the dominant sibling would win out or the disagreement would escalate to a conflict. Thus as a parent, I wanted to handle things differently.
I try to make everything a teachable moment and use moments as reminders when conflict occur. For example, my girls often like similar shoes and outfits, but they do not want to wear them at the same time. They try to plan so they can have the same outfit, but different colors and wear them on different days. This at one point caused disagreements. Who would wear what outfit on what day? I set chore days for every person, so I use those days as disagreement resolvers. For example, if it is pink on the calendar as chore day, then it is “pink day” for everyone. If they could not find an outfit other than the one they were arguing over, they had to wear pink. Thus, the decision for the outfit no longer was their decision, but mine because they could not resolve the issue. I decided to take this step because it eliminated me from asking questions to appear to take sides. Hence, it was fair for both girls.
I used this with everything. My sons disagree about the game. Then, the calendar dictated the game. The team or game with the color of the calendar was what would be played or watched. Conflict resolved, and mom won. Win; win for the lady of the house! I take everyday things to resolve conflicts.