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Children learn many skills during their earliest educational and play experiences. Daycare conflict resolution fits naturally into their growing range of accomplishments. The idea of young children developing conflict resolution abilities sounds rather ambitious. Many adults have yet to master these types of skills themselves, but that’s mostly because they’ve never tried.

Like every other educational milestone, children learn daycare conflict resolution because someone takes the time to show them how. When they learn at an early age, they are often more open to the idea. They remember and build upon these simple strategies for the rest of their lives.

How Does Daycare Conflict Resolution Work?

If you ask ten different experts about conflict resolution, you’ll get ten different explanations. That’s mostly because adults rely on complicated resolution processes. They talk about empathy, accommodation, neutrality, and other big words young children wouldn’t understand.

Children rely on these same principles, but they don’t use big adult labels and complex adult theories. Daycare conflict resolution works because it relies on simple ideas that children understand.

The Extension Alliance for Better Child Care provides a brief description of a simple conflict resolution strategy. They recommend three basic skills.

  • Communication
  • Listening
  • Finding solutions together

Mediate the Discussion, Don’t Resolve the Conflict

Children are learning daycare conflict resolution when adults show them how. They retain the skills and use them when adults allow them to resolve their conflicts themselves. Until children learn to complete a daycare conflict resolution process without active adult assistance, adults can play the mediator role.

Mediators don’t decide issues; they facilitate resolutions. They bring the parties together in a neutral setting and encourage productive conversation.

Establish Daycare Conflict Resolution Rules

Young children adapt easily to conflict resolution when they help establish the rules. They don’t have to think up the guidelines on their own, but they can help decide what’s important. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Hold up your hand if you have something to say.
  • Listen quietly when someone talks.
  • Be polite to each other.
  • No name-calling.
  • Each child gets to say what they think.
  • Children must find solutions together.

Don’t Wait

The Scholastic Ages & Stages article, “Learning to Resolve Conflict,” suggests that you deal with conflict when it occurs. It helps children recognize the direct connection between the conflict and the solution process.

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