Conflict resolution skills can be hard to learn and even harder to teach. Even adults struggle with these skills. But, in Habits of Friendship: Conflict students are taught things like problem-solving, negotiation, “I feel” statements, and standing up to a bully. Read on to find out how Habits of Friendship: Conflict can help your students master these difficult social skills.
What is Habits of Friendship?
Maybe you missed the first post that introduced The Habits of Friendship program. If so, head over here to read up on the program and get your free, printable progress tracker. You can also download the first two lessons here:
In short, after Habits of Learning took shape in my mind, I began to realize it was an incomplete program. Our lives are not just about learning, they are about more than that.
If you have been here for a while, you know I talk a lot about goal setting and balance. When I am talking about those things, I often quote one of my favorite Bible verses: Luke 2:52.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.Luke 2:52, KJV
In this verse we see that as Jesus grew from child to man, he developed in four areas of his life:
- Wisdom: Learning and education
- Stature: Physical health and wellness
- Favour with God: Spiritual development
- Favour with man: Social and emotional development
Habits of Learning focuses on the “wisdom” part of that verse. Habits of Friendship will focus on “favour with man”. These are the two modules that will be taught, two times a year at A One-Room Schoolhouse.
Once you have completed the progress monitoring circle listed in the introductory post, you are ready to dive into week one Habits of Friendship: Conflict. Here is all you need to do to get ready for this week:
- Download the lesson plan (link below), print it if desired.
- Bookmark this blog post that includes live links to use for each lesson containing a video.
- Print off the resources included in at the end of this post.
- Cute out game cards and prep craft stick activity.
- Make sure you have some coloring supplies on hand.
Now you are ready to go!
Remember to Practice
The general instructions for the Habits of Friendship stay the same from week to week. This week (and from here on out) you will want to encourage your children to do the exploration activities from the previous week’s lesson.
This may be a copy sheet, hymn study, or memorization. Maybe they might like to read a book from the list or watch one of the video links. It does not matter which activity they do, what does matter is that they are still thinking about and learning about the previously studied habit.
Furthermore, make sure you are always looking for ways to praise your children as they progress in the previously studied habits. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO!
This focus on continual practice and praise will help further development and generalization. It reinforces the idea that we are always working to improve ourselves.
Below are some of the special elements that you might want to read about before completing the Habits of Friendship: Conflict lessons.
Why Teach Conflict Resolution?
“Skills for conflict resolution are critical in the classroom and the workplace. It’s important to teach students how to appropriately manage conflict, and the feelings that come along with it, in order to create healthy learning environments and set students up for success.” (Sara LaHayne, Move This World)
As you move on from the second lesson using the popsicle sticks, remember to redirect students back to the popsicle stick cup when they are having trouble solving a problem. A simple, “go grab a stick” or “have you tried a stick idea?” This way students will practice what they learning for further internalization. Use these as teachable moments and talk through how the conflict can be resolved, safely and responsibly.
The When and How of “I Feel”
Learning when and how to use an “I feel” statement can take a long time to master. On day three of Habits of Friendship: Conflict, students are introduced to the idea of “I feel” statements. Helping kids master the “I” statement is a strong step in helping students see how things are on the other side of a conflict.
When to use an “I feel” statement:
· Comforting behavior
· Being mistreated
· Feeling defensive or angry (you or the other person)
· Negotiating is not working
When the time is right to use an “I feel” statement, how it is delivered is of the most importance. Help students practice these more subtle communication skills as your role-play in the musical chairs game.
· Be clear: simple in language and needs
· Be direct: eye contact, head held high, and stand up straight.
· Be calm: deep breath, count to four, say your words.
But if not….
As a school psychologist, I often helped analyze student behavior and create behavior intervention plans for students that were having lots of conflict at school. Often teachers and administrators come to the school psychologist when they are at their breaking point with student behavior. In the midst of navigating this kind of conflict, a school psychologist must advocate for the student and meet the needs of the teachers and administrators. It can be a tough balancing act!
That is where the “but if not” phrase comes from. Teachers may want a student to do 100% of their homework or talk out in class 0% of the time. But for a student that is not even close to these expectations, a gain of that magnitude is not reasonable.
That is why a good behavior plan will have a “but if not” clause. If the student can’t meet the entire expectation, what will you be comfortable with? What is a close approximation of the behavior you are looking for?
But, everyone can use this secret weapon of negotiation. Teaching everyone “but if not” allows groups to move forward by presenting choices everyone can live with.
Grow Our Community
We are growing rapidly and we are so pleased with your support. Keep tagging your friends, using our hashtag (#habitsoffriendship), and sharing your Habits of Friendship journey.
Let’s keep the social media ball rolling and share this program with your friends! Take pictures and videos of your Habits of Friendship: Communication lessons. Post these on Facebook or Instagram. Use the hashtag #habitsoffrienship and tag @aoneroomshoolhouse. Follow the Schoolhouse and our hashtag to join other Habits of Learning users!