Resolving conflict is a DAILY occurrence around here. Here's a tip I originally got from Rachel's book that has become a STAPLE conversation starter that Matt and I both use as we discipline and parent.
When my boys are fighting over a toy, we stop the feud and have a discussion. It doesn't matter who's "fault" it was. We stop and ask BOTH boys,
"Are you putting this toy first or your brother?"
The answer for both parties is, "The toy." (Otherwise the fight wouldn't have broken out in the first place.) We resolve the conflict as fairly as we can, but pausing to have them both reflect on the state of their own heart first reveals that even if their brother shouldn't have taken the toy away, they were giving the toy more importance than a human being... even more, their brother... their best friend. We focus on reconciliation and we make a big deal about "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you." We do our very best to see the relationship restored before we move on in play. And the cool thing about 2 and 3 year olds is they don't hold a grudge long. :)
I've found 3 awesome things have resulted from us pausing to do this:
1) My boys (especially Isaac) are starting to get it. Forgiveness and reconciliation is something they're going to have to deal with their whole lives and I love that they're getting a practical look at and practice with how this looks on their level right now.
2) It helps me shift my perspective if I stop and ask this question before discipline starts. I really think I see things a little more biblically when I think through it with them.
3) It helps my discipline to be more loving (and godly) if I pause and ask this question because it gives me a second to cool off if I'm super frustrated with one or both parties. It helps me not to unleash on one or both of them.
This is just a peek at what you'll find in Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches. Would you like to win a copy? Just enter the giveaway below by Thursday, July 5th at Midnight. We'll announce the giveaway winner sometime on Friday, July 6th.
How about you? Do you have any questions or conversation starters to deal with conflict and discipline in your home?
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