Child Development

Conflict Management with your Child | Sparklekidz

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Resolve conflicts and strengthen relationships with your child. Learn effective strategies for managing conflicts in a healthy positive way.

These tips can help you get ready to manage conflict with your child:

  • Stay calm, stop what you’re doing, make eye contact, and treat your child with respect.
  • Let your child have their say. Be open to hearing your child’s point of view.
  • Focus on the issue or the behaviour, and avoid general statements about your child. For example, ‘Taking your phone into your bedroom at night isn’t following our rule about devices’ rather than ‘You never follow the rules’.
  • Be open about your feelings. This can help your child understand why you want them to do or not do something. For example, ‘I feel that it’s important for our family to celebrate some of our cultural traditions’.
  • Explain your view simply and briefly, making it clear that your main concern is for your child’s wellbeing, now and in the future. For example, ‘I need to make sure you’re safe if you’re out at night. It helps if you tell me where you’re going and who you’re with’.
  • Negotiate with your child and compromise if you can. When you compromise, you demonstrate problem-solving skills. For example, your child might want to paint her bedroom black, and you hate the idea. A compromise might be painting one wall black or two walls in a dark colour.
  • If you have to say no, try to do it in a calm, understanding and respectful way. For example, ‘I understand that you want a belly button ring. But you’re 13 and you’ve got a lot of time to think about it. So right now, the answer is no’.


Managing emotions and calming down after conflict with your child

After a conflict, your child might have strong emotions. For example, they might feel really disappointed if you’ve said no to something they wanted. They might feel embarrassed if they’ve lost their temper or said something they regret. Or they might feel very angry if something seems unfair, or doesn’t turn out the way they hoped.

  • Try to negotiate a decision that you can both live with. For example, ‘Yes, you can go to the concert with Nina. You can get there on the train by yourselves, but I will pick you up when it finishes’.
  • If your child is upset about a rule that you won’t or can’t change, acknowledge your child’s emotions but avoid a debate. For example, ‘I know you’re angry because you can’t go to Jaz’s party. But the rule is that you can only go to parties where there’s adult supervision’.
  • If your child is behaving in physically or verbally harmful ways, let them know this behaviour is unacceptable. For example, ‘It’s not OK to speak to me like that’, or ‘We’ll have to patch and paint that hole in the plaster this weekend. The cost of the materials will come out of your pocket money’.


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