Parenting & Conflict Resolution Activities
Parenting, in theory, is seen as the ultimate happiness by most. Its imagined that when you become a parent, suddenly everything will be happy, satisfactory and pleasant. Mothers in labor often time think that giving birth is where all the difficulties end, however, they continue. Not denying that children are a source of happiness and family is a blessing, parenting can be increasingly difficult.
Conflicts between a child and a parent is common in every household. A nine months old baby will start to babble argue with their parents. This is because children are a blank state, they do not have a concrete perception of what is right and what is wrong. The famous Psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, saw the human psyche structure in three parts: Id, Ego and Super Ego.
Id is the most basic and people are born with it. It acts on the pleasure principle. Meaning, if the person wants something then they want it, regardless of the place, time, situation, etc. This element is the most demanding and the only one existing in infants: Infants do not care about the situation, timings or place when they are hungry. They wail and cry till their demand is met.
Ego is the second element and people develop this as they grow older. Ego acts to satisfy the demands of Id at the right time. Meaning, it is willing to do all that Id is but just at the right time. This element is the middle ground or the grey area and is developed as the child grows a little intelligent: A children learning to go and use the toilet instead of excreting anywhere like they did as infants.
Super Ego is the third element and people develop this as soon as they learn sense along with morals. Super Ego acts on the moral principle. Meaning, only meeting those demands which are morally correct. This element is the most strict. Example: a person in deep financial situation but still not robbing someone. Super Ego and Id are always at a continuous conflict since most of Id’s demands are morally incorrect.
As previously pointed out, children are blank slates. In their childhood, only their Id and Ego is activated and parents build and shape the morals for their Super Ego. Thus, here as children, they have no moral filter and just demands which they wish to satisfy, thus resulting in routine conflicts with their parents.
Conflict Resolution Tips With Your Kids
Kids can be hard to argue with since they see reason after a bit of effort, thus, we are more likely to stick to our “power moves” when it comes to winning a fight, i.e. the “end of discussion” attitude. Unfortunately, this can drive your child away from you since they will feel that their reason and opinions are not heard. So how to listen to your child, explain them the situation and avoid conflicts? Here is your guide!
When we approach the conversation with a negative attitude and a mind made up to say the final word, the vibe is felt and your child can read your emotions which can cause frustration. Approach the argument or discussion with a positive attitude
Listen And Understand
One of the most common mistakes we all make is that we listen to respond rather than to understand. When in a debate with your child, listen to understand and gather their point of view.
Conflicts cannot be resolved if you make the child feel that you both are playing for separate teams. Through the use of words like “we” and “us”, reinforce the idea that you are on the child’s side and are willing to do what is best for them.
Present The Illusion Of Choice
It is found that you can get someone to agree on performing an activity which they would not have had with the use of the illusion of choice. For example: You wish to feed your child an apple but they refuse. If you would initially give them a choice between one Vs. two apples then they will automatically choose the easier option. Here, even they feel like they had some say in it and feel like somewhat of a winner, and you too have accomplished what is good for your child.
Concentrate On Reasons
Ask your child why they wish what they wish. Listen to their reason and try to understand where they are coming from. If the child’s logic is important and reasonable, then perhaps reconsider your decision. If it is not then with a calm mind explain them the situation.
Revert Back If In A Conflict
Despite practicing reason, we can sometimes still fall into an illogical arguing. As soon as you realize that you are pointlessly arguing, step back, calm down and resume the discussion with a clear mind.
Reinforcement Of Respect
Reinforce the idea to your child that you are only ready to discuss and debate if the child does so respectfully. Since they want their conflicts to be resolved, they will return to you and this time do so respectfully. This will not only give you calm and reasonable debate opportunity with your kids, but it will also teach your kids how to properly debate as they grow older.
Deny With Respect
Even a simple “no” seems and feels very frustrating and enraging if it is said in a disrespectful manner. Remember, just as your deserve respect from your child, your child deserves the same too. If you have decided to deny their requests then do so with respect. Construct the speech in their favor like: “I see your reasons and understand them, but I cannot let you do [the activity] because..”
In the above structured sentence, you are first acknowledging your child’s reason and passion to do what they requested, you are then reinforcing the idea that you play for the same team and telling them that you understand their situation, and then lastly, you explain to your child exactly why you chose to deny.