This chapter, like the others, is split up into 6 sections. Each section has given a description and an example of different conflict resolution techniques.
The first section is on Agreements and Follow-Through. Executive decisions is typically how teachers, and parents, seem to roll, but without involvement from the other party, you will often fall into a rebellious situation. With involvement comes an increase in committment and acceptance by the other party. Having a brainstorming session with the student(s) about some possible solutions to the difficult situations and then reminding students about the agreement made will support them to follow through. When this does not work, it is important to follow through with the original agreement and revisit it with the group once again to come up with an appropriate agreement once again.
Understanding the Brain is a very piece for everyone to learn. Dr. Daniel Siegel’s description of the brain helps give an excellent visual for everyone to learn. It helps us to make the connection between limbic centre and the prefrontal cortex of the brains. It gives an excellent visual of what happens when you “flip your lid”, not allowing your prefrontal cortex and limbic centre to communicate with each other anymore. This knowledge helps to pave the way for the use of the other strategies within this chapter. Today, January 6th, 2020, my staff had training with he EASE program where this was again reinforced. I have been learning a lot more about this recently and it makes complete sense! I know that I really need to remember this when I am beginning to “flip my lid” and/or my children are struggling as well.
The third section, Wheel of Choice and Anger Wheel of Choice, really hit home with me. It is something I would like to try at home, since disciplinary actions do not seem to work all that well (losing privileges, time-outs, etc). Again, brainstorming with the kids will give them some ownership over the different strategies/solutions. The visual, again created by the kids, gives them options in a quick and easy way (words and pictures). Having a wheel for self-regulation and one for problem solving is amazing! When I first heard about the Wheel of Choice, I was sceptical as I did not fully understand how it works, but after reading the section on it, I really want to try it out.
Positive Time-Out: Cooling Off is another strategy I would like to use. There are many times when I, personally, need the cooling off time. I look forward to using it in conjunction with the Wheel of Choice. It is important to remember that the child is not sent to Positive Time-Out, it should be a choice, and a space where they learn some self-regulation and self-control. Again, giving the child a choice between using the Wheel of Choice and a Positive Time-Out gives them a feeling of being in control, which helps them to learn self-regulation and self-control strategies as well.
In the fifth section, “I” Messages, works to help students take responsibility for their feelings. The use of “I” messages often leads to cooperation rather than rebellion or a negative, thoughtless reaction. Since the use of an “I” message allows a person to name and express a feeling, it becomes a non-judgemental statement and does not imply that the other person had anything to do with how they are feeling in this moment. Taking responsibility for one’s own feelings plays a huge role in our personal self-regulation. It is a skill that all people should learn. This is yet another strategy I need to teach and practice with my children. I look forward to seeing how it playsout with my boys, whose common lines are, “he made me do……”
The Four Steps Tool for Problem Solving discussed in the final section of this chapter, include ignoring it, talking it over respectfully, agreeing on a solution together and asking for help if you can’t work it out together. I often suggest to my oldest son to ignore different things but this is very difficult for him. I wonder how long it takes for children to learn this skill or if there are strategies to teach the ignoring skill? Is the role playing practice enough? They suggest that coupling each of these problem solving strategies with the other strategies could be supportive. Ignoring it pairs well with Positive Time Out, talking it out respectfully pairs with “I” messages, agreeing on a solution and asking for help both pair well with classroom meetings and brainstorming sessions.
I, personally, am really exctied about these conflict resolution strategies. Although I have heard of or used many of these strategies before, it has been really helpful to learn about them once again. Implementing these strategies in my own home and in my classroom should make my life, and those f my children/students a lot more pleasant in the long run. I think the place for me to begin will be using the “I” messages. I have used the positive time-out in the past, and I think that I need to teach my oldest son a bit more about this, as when I try to give myself a time-out, he feels the need to continuously talk to me.
Do you currently use any of these strategies? If so, which ones and how do you feel it works for you?
Which strategies will you try out in the near future?