Conflict jeopardizes children’s play and interaction. On the other hand, conflicts can also be experiences that help children learn about interpersonal interaction, expectations, and norms, as well as their cognitive, social, and moral development (Korotaeva & Chugaeva, 2019). Therefore, it is critical to offer support or assistance only when they are unable to do so on their own. While resolving conflict between children, it is essential to follow a set of steps to find solutions that are tolerable to both conflicting parties.
Using the six steps in resolving conflicts, I would respond to this scenario in the following way:
First, I will approach Jeremy and Phyllis calmly to stop any hurtful actions. To do so, I will carefully place myself between them and come down to their emotional level. After bringing myself down to their level, I will proceed to acknowledge their feelings. Because Phyllis is hurt by Jeremy’s action, I will ask Jeremy to hand the firefighter’s helmet over to me so that it is away from either of them. Recognizing a child’s feelings impacts the child’s subsequent competence to cope with frustration and stress; considering their feelings is, therefore, very important (Li et al., 2019). Third, it is necessary to hear from both conflicting parties to understand the conflict. I will ask calmly what the problem is from both parties. After getting feedback from Jeremy and Phyllis, I will restate the problem while realizing how the conflict impacts them. Finally, after noticing the problem, I will ask for ideas from both of them and choose an amicable conclusion together by asking them what we can do to solve the conflict at hand. As a follow-up, I will endorse their accomplishments by congratulating them for settling the problem and staying nearby just in case anyone is not satisfied with the outcome, in which case I will repeat the process.
In this scenario, Connor believes he owns the block, the same as Martin who believes that the block, the object of conflict, is his. To resolve this conflict, I will have to first bring myself down to their level, that is, their emotional level by asking each one to take a breather from the other and stop any further confrontations. After establishing a common ground, I will proceed to make their feelings known to each other. Connor feels that he owns the block, similarly, Martin feels the block belongs to him; therefore, I will have to gain possession of the object of conflict and tell both of them that they look upset. The next step is to gather relevant information about the problem; this I will achieve by asking what the problem is. Upon establishing what the conflict is about from both Connor and Martin, I will restate the problem so that everyone accepts it. Because both preschoolers claim the block, I will ask for the perspectives of both Connor and Martin for ideas to solve the problem. Having come up with different answers, I will ask both children to choose one compromise that is agreeable to them and settle on it. Finally, to ensure the decision is acceptable to both children, I will publicly praise their ability to arrive at a resolution to the problem together. I will stay nearby just in case the decision is not agreeable to anyone so that we can repeat the process once more till we find a friendly result for the problem.
Korotaeva, E., & Chugaeva, I. (2019). Socio-moral development of preschool children: Aspects of theory and practice. Behav. Sci, 9(12), 2.
Li, D., Liu, T., & Shi, J. (2019). Conflict adaptation in 5-year-old preschool children: Evidence from emotional contexts. Front. Hum. Neurosci, 13:14.