Getting along feels good! That’s what we all decided last year when the children were in 3rd grade.
When we get along with others things run more smoothly and everyone feels comfortable. There is more room to grow, learn new things, and more time to enjoy life. But let’s face it, conflicts and disagreements come up, even between the best of friends. So how do we go about getting along, or clear things up when we don’t, in order to get back to that positive place?
The fourth graders and I explored several different ways. Here’s what we came up with:
Even among the best of friends we can have misunderstandings that can make us angry or have us feeling hurt. Simple misunderstandings can get out of hand if we don’t communicate our thoughts and feelings.
The children and I discussed how we really don’t know what another person is thinking or feeling unless we ask them and hear it directly from that person. Additionally, no one knows what we are thinking and feeling unless we speak up and share: so it’s important that we do. The ingredient that makes this all work, is in how we listen to one another. Listening is incredibly important.
Listening isn’t just about being polite and giving someone the floor to speak. Listening is focusing on the other person and really taking in what they are saying. Quieting ourselves and yielding the floor can be easy but it also can be easy to forget to listen, especially when we are focused on how we see things. We need to take a deep breath and really give each other our full attention, even when it is challenging.
This is communication!
Conflict can be resolved a whole lot quicker and with a lot less anger and fewer hurt feelings when we know how to communicate. When we know how to communicate it becomes easier to solve disagreements with others and to compromise. We can calmly share our points of view and come up with solutions that everyone can live with. It can feel fantastic to be able to work things out with others! Here are some tips when communicating with others: