Dealing with disagreements between children can be challenging as they get very emotional and crying most of the times

Dealing with disagreements between children can be challenging as they get very emotional and crying most of the times. Generally it takes place in the playground, during learning time, at breaks and lunchtimes. Sharing is another matter that affects disagreements. So, the best approach is for you to be calm and find out what has happened by going back to the beginning. Ask each child to explain what happened and listen to both sides of the story. This shows that you are not taking sides. It is important to take the time to acknowledge the cause of the conflict and why it has happened. If a child does not think that they are being listened to they will get even more upset or angry. Then you need to determine if you think one of them is in the wrong and explain to the child the reasons they are wrong and also the difference between right and wrong. Try to explain and make them understand that what they did may well have upset or hurt the feelings of the other child and ask how would the child feel if they were put in the same position. You would then encourage the child to apologise and clarify that this behaviour is not acceptable and it must not happen again. Children find it difficult to know how to manage their feelings and actions however, you can help them make the connection between behaviour and emotion by for example, saying to them ‘ I know you are upset because you could not do painting today’ and they will be more capable of understanding how to think about others. You can encourage children through discussion, and activities such as ‘Circle Time’, a class forum or even strategies like the Restorative Justice programme.

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