Conflict, Kids and Ideas to Try

In the midst of a conflict with our kids, it can be so difficult to know what to next. Especially if our emotions are high and interfering with our ability to think clearly and calmly. The last thing anyone wants to do is get stuck in a downward spiral so prepare a toolkit to help. Parents need to have tips and tricks at the ready to shift the mood, find common ground or find a resolution.

Here are three ideas to help you move from a place of arguing, frustration or losing your temper with each other:


Tap into your maternal instincts and look at your whole child. You know them. Find a way in through a crack that shines their light. What do they enjoy? Can you use that as a way to get their attention, to take their mind off the trigger? If they like to run, challenge them to a race to the car. Make it fun! Humor? Exaggeration? Movement? This is a great chance for them to get to know you behind all that seriousness. You don’t have to just be the large and in charge Mom. Let them see the person that you are. Share yourself with them and watch them open up as well. When you engage them on common ground, it’s an experience they want to share and they relax into it.

Mantra: What does he/she like to do?

Try this: Play truth or dare.

Avoid: Being too authoritarian.


Give It Time

Don’t rush it. Emotions can be big, scary things. Just as we get stuck there, so do our kids and they can’t process as quickly as we can. Having a dose of patience while they get their balance and recover from the intensity and confusion of the situation goes far. Simply hold the space for them to move into a receptive mode. It will come, even if it’s painful for you to watch or hear. Don’t leave them alone, stay close. Keep offering your lap or your attention but be ready to wait a little bit longer. A good cry can be very cleansing when the child is supported and feels safe and loved. Can you create that environment while she processes her emotions?

Mantra: Just give her/him a little time.

Try this: Sit on the floor and wait.

Avoid: “Just stop it!”


Build Up

When your child is having a tough time, lift them back up. He may get stuck in negative feelings or thoughts, unable to see the light. From that place, he needs you to remind him of his worth. Tell him how wonderful he is. Remark on his good qualities, the unique traits that he brings to the world. Make it easy for him to bounce back because he sees the positive value of his participation. Your child has wonderful things to offer. Help him operate from those gifts by reminding him he has them. He may fail but you can show him his footing again.

Mantra: You are so good at…

Try this: Recall a good deed.

Avoid: Letting him/her feel like a failure.

This is an excerpt from my workbook, Keep Your Cool: How to Stop Yelling, Spanking & Punishing. Available now with special pricing!

Previous post:

Next post: