Blogging with Dr. Susan


Blogging with Dr. Susan

Conflict Resolution


Conflict Resolution is a term that schools use more and more, usually as a way of resolving discipline issues in classrooms and on playgrounds, but that is only part of the story! 

Families benefit big time by using conflict resolution at home, in the yard, on the street, playing games and establishing friendships.  In the comfort of home, families let their hair down,” throw their shoes off, and literally, throw books on the table (or the floor), pet the dog, find a snack, talk on the phone, or computer games all to reduce stress and little help to relax the body and brain!!  

Home is the place to “vent”, sit in silence or listen to music, be silly, throw books on the floor, be mad or glad, but always, at home, you should feel safe!  Go ahead…. Be mad and confront frustration.  Irritations at work and school, in stores work out differences at home; feel secure, share hope, share fear and express yourselves in ways they cannot do in public places!  Learn how to be helpful, resourceful and protective of one another,  hopeful, comforted and safe!

 Home is a safe haven, a secure environment and and that is the key to good parenting…. knowing your family will be there family as a way to learn social skills, emotional control, patience and helpfulness, and even learn to control kindness and anger.

Home is where families can release emotions, settle conflicts and test their behaviors, practice skills, and feel the strength of support from other members of the family!   Conflict resolution is the process of learning fair practices from out of control behavior and learning what kind of personality each person in the family has!

When I work with children I spend time with them in their home…. home is where parents should teach their children well!   I help teach them tricks of the trade!  How to behave at home and at school and I stress personality development!

Parents need to pay attention to their own triggers as well as the people around them.  What upsets people and what upsets you?  The goal of any conflict resolution is to remain calm.  Negative behaviors and anger will only contribute to the conflict. 

If you find yourself really upset then takes Dr. Susan’s words to heart:


If you are boiling over, don’t take it out on someone else! Try any or all of these simple alternatives – whatever works for you.


            Take a deep breath. And another.

            Close your eyes and imagine you are hearing what that person is about to hear.

            Press your lips together and count to ten. Or better yet, to 20.

            Exercise to release tension.

            Phone a friend.

            Go outside and take a walk.

            Take a hot bath or splash cold water on your face.

            Turn on some music, maybe even sing a song.

            Drink a glass of cold water.

            Rethink about what you want to say and what you want to do.

            Empathize and try to understand the point of view of the person who is making you angry.

            If you do lash out, apologize.

Encourage everyone to practice these techniques also. Empower them by setting the example for how to deal with anger.

For children in school there is a valuable tool that can be used.  It is called the “I” statement.  The child fills in the blanks of the following statement or something similar.

“I feel _____________when you ____________ because ______________.  I would like you to ______________________________.”

The child fills out the statement.  The two children are brought together for a meeting.  The first child reads her “I” statement and the second child listens.  The second child acknowledges her statement and what the first child would like to happen.  Then the second child may present his or her own “I” statement.  They should both come to a resolution and shake hands at the end.  This lets children express their feelings in an appropriate way and helps them to resolve conflict.  This is a great way for children to learn how to handle issues throughout their life.

It is important for the teacher or parent to listen to the child’s “I” statement first to make sure it really is an appropriate conflict. 

The Self-Absorbed Parent

This is a generation of parents who are self-absorbed by adult activities of daily living. They are not inclined to instruct their children on the family traditions and values that matter to them. Family life is not the top priority. The research proves that many parents hated school, and will admit that their kids are taking after them- learning that school is not the fun or important place to be. They reject the reality that school is every kid's "job."

How to turn that trend around:

Volunteer once in a while, even if you're working. Tutor some friend of your kid's on a Saturday morning. Every family has a different life style, which, according to one mom, needs to be understood by the teacher. Tell the teacher any or all the facts about your family, and get to be friends with the teacher.

Teach yourself, says one California mom, to have conversations, not pity parties, when your child is asked to redo homework or other tasks. Don't excuse your kids. Back up the teacher. When parents feel wronged or angry, nobody gets his way or solves her problem. Susan interviewed a number of moms and dads who always make it a point to get a copy of their school curriculum. They study what academics are required, then they check work daily, but they do not do the work for the child-ever!

"All children need to feel secure and know where to turn for help. It is not a hard job for parents unless they are afraid of their own children. Some parents are absent from the household so much of the time they are literally letting their children raise themselves and do what they want- even young three and four year-olds can act as if the household is under their control. The household must always be under the control of adults. No exceptions! Parents need to be in charge."