DEALING WITH SOCIAL CONFLICT – ADOPTING A PROBLEM SOLVING APPROACH TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION
In a High/Scope setting, adults see social conflict as an opportunity for children to develop their problem-solving skills. This is the approach we use with the children every time a problem or dispute arises.
This approach recognises that young children sometimes make ‘social mistakes’ rather than ‘display bad behaviour’. They have not yet had enough practise at problem solving and therefore they can, at times, act inappropriately. It is the duty of the adult to show the children ways to resolve conflict. We believe this approach is the best way to do this as it respects each person’s opinion and does not cause pain or humiliation.
1.Approach calmly. Place yourself between children, on their level. Use a calm voice and gentle touch.
2.Acknowledge feelings. “You look really upset”.
3.Gather information. “What’s the problem?”
4.Restate the problem.“So the problem is…”
5.Ask for solutions and choose one together.“What can we do to solve this problem?” (Encourage children to think of solutions.)
6. Give follow-up support as needed