If you do need to get involved, your job is not to decide who is right and who is wrong. You are just simply a mediator. Start the conversation by stating what you have seen or heard. “You seem to be having trouble deciding who gets to wear the fancy dress up shoes.” Have each child tell their side of the story without shouting or hurling insults. Just to make sure they are listening to each other, have them repeat what the other has said. Then you can ask the million dollar question, “What can we do to solve this?” Let each child share their ideas. Try one of the proposed solutions, no matter how crazy it sounds. “OK, we can give the shoes a time-out in the freezer.” If they do need further direction, offer them some suggestions. “Each of you could wear the shoes for 10 minutes, we will set the timer to keep track.” Keep reminding yourself that your kids are practicing the art of conflict resolution. They are expressing themselves calmly, listening, validating other perspectives, and coming to an agreement. This approach requires time, energy, and great patience, but the payoff is well worth it. Doing it every time they fight is difficult. But if you adopt this strategy a few times, they will pick up on it.  And eventually, they will learn to resolve disagreements without you, which is the whole point of being a parent. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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